"The team became my interim family"

About: Forth Valley Royal Hospital / Accident & emergency Forth Valley Royal Hospital / Gynaecology Forth Valley Royal Hospital / Outpatients Antibiotic Therapy (OPAT)

(as the patient),

After about six weeks of increasing pain in my stomach, I finally decided that despite Covid-19 and trying to not put extra pressure on the NHS, I needed help. I was put on antibiotics & other medication, but the pain only intensified. Four days later, I was packed off to A&E, with a question over whether I had kidney stones, or something wrong with my bowel. I thought I might be in for a couple of hours. A day & two CT scans later, an abscess over the size of a block of butter was found & I was moved to Ward 6 - gynaecology. I stayed here for a further nine days. 

When I first arrived in Ward 6, there was no phone signal from the bed..only a weak one from the window, which started four4 feet from the ground. I was too weak to hold my phone and could only stand for a few minutes at a time, once or twice a day - making a call was gruelling.  In all, it felt utterly peculiar and disturbing that when I most wanted the comfort of my husband and children, I was unable to see, text or talk to them.   

Very simply put, the team on this ward became my interim family. The care, humour, warmth & kindness could not have been greater. When you are 100% reliant on strangers who become your proxy family, especially when you have low emotional resilience,  every act of kindness is appreciated. Every encounter with the staff on this ward was an act of kindness. Within the constraints of Covid-19, the nursing team found ingenious ways to make my stay more bearable. For example, realising that a room with a lower window where I could sit and prop my phone up to make a call would be better, they moved me to a new room. Being on the ground floor, they then arranged for my husband to visit outside the window, so I could see him. What a difference that made! The food was amazing - every time - and when eating is a struggle - it's a total relief that at least you're not dreading the food!  

I'm sure some may think this is what it should always be like. But Covid is impacting the NHS team outside of work - everyone is facing their own challenges - for instance homeschooling children. Many deeply missing their parents and siblings. Yet on the ward the staff were focused, gentle and warm.

I'm back at home now with OPAT - not yet discharged - but I would like to thank the entire team at NHS Forth Valley Royal for their help over the last few weeks. It could have been an awful experience - but thanks to them, it was not.


Response from Donna Clark, Clinical Manager, Medical, FVRH 4 months ago
Donna Clark
Clinical Manager, Medical,
Submitted on 04/05/2020 at 15:06
Published on Care Opinion at 15:06

Good afternoon,

I'm so please to hear you are on the mend. Thank you for taking time to offer us your feedback at what must have been a very difficult time for you. It is good news you have a diagnosis and this is now being treated. I will ensure and share your feedback with our teams. All feedback is very important to us as it allows us to review and develop our services to ensure the patients receives the best possible care.

Take care


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