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"The right place to get better"

About: Craigavon Area Hospital / 4 North Surgical Craigavon Area Hospital / 4 South Surgical (Progressive Care)

(as a service user),

I have been a frequent user of the hospital over the past year and a half due to my chronic Colitis. During this recent stay in the hospital I have been here for 8 weeks and in that time have had two serious operations one to remove my colon and the other to remove my rectum.

I feel the medical equipment and staff in CAH is unmatchable across any other hospital in the north. The skill of the medical and nursing team has made my operations and recovery process so smooth and I feel like the situation couldn't have been handled in a better way. Given the current pandemic situation, I feel the hospital is doing all it can to ensure safety of its patients, I feel reassured seeing staff members frequently hand washing as well as wearing the appropriate PPE.

Although it hasn't all been smooth as just a few weeks ago a patient on my ward tested positive for the virus. I, a man in recovery from two very serious operation was left feeling anxious about what this would mean for me. I observed the fear of staff members as they too were left fearful as to what this meant, the demeanour of the whole staff changed they visually became much more stressed seeming unsure about how to deal with the situation. Although after 2 days the situation seemed to calm down, we were all much more at ease and recovery was much more reassuring as the staff had a chance to take in what was going on and had an appropriate plan to deal with the situation. 

In terms of operation recovery I have went between many wards, immediately after my operations I was taken back to ward 4 north where 2 days into recovery I was given impossible tasks to complete by the physio. I knew their goal was right in getting me up and moving, but I felt this approach didn't facilitate my needs and had no aid in my recovery. I deemed this as quite insensitive as not only was I recovering from the operation but I am also an amputee and this meant I was battling many of my conditions which I felt the physio just wasn't accounting for. After a discussion with a few members of the team, I felt listened to and my opinion was valued as I was able to verbalize how I didn't find this element of my recovery very appropriate which led to the necessary changes being made. 

Overall I feel the staff have been communicating everything to me extremely well and no matter how much pressure the staff are under I am always kept updated and in the loop with regards to my care. Even though some things are not done immediately I feel that this can be counted for as  I have developed an appreciation of the fact that I am not the only patient on the ward whos needs have to be met. I can see the staff are trying their very best to help everyone. Although in saying that I feel all my needs are being met eventually, and I am so grateful to receive the quality of care I have gotten so far. 

As a patient with Colitis I require a low residue diet and although sorted now, at the start there was a lot of confusion surrounding the diet. Through conversations between a dietitian, my consultant and the kitchen staff I am now able to have a large variety of low residue options and I feel extremely fortunate to have this.

One thing I have already suggested an improvement on is the mannerisms and communication from some of the nurses. At the beginning I found some of the nurses chosen form of communication was just to shout and use a raised voice to demand orders for us as patients to carry out. I found this form of communication very uneasy and it didn't sit right with me as it not only scared me but I can't imagine how the patients with dementia on the ward felt. I feel due to the immense pressure the staff are under that they don't realize how unpleasant they are coming off to us as patients. I felt the need to raise this issue with a senior consultant who sorted it out thankfully but I do feel it may need addressed on other wards as I don't feel its appropriate at all. 

Overall, during the last 8 weeks I would say as a whole I am extremely content with my care and know I am in the right place to get better.


Response from Tracey McGuigan, Lead Nurse Surgery, Craigavon Area Hospital, Acute Directorate, SHSCT last week
Tracey McGuigan
Lead Nurse Surgery, Craigavon Area Hospital, Acute Directorate,
Submitted on 13/09/2021 at 17:34
Published on Care Opinion at 17:34

Tracey McGuigan, Lead Nurse SEC, SHSCT

Thank you for taking the time to give feedback on your recent hospital admission to 4 North & 4 South.

As Lead Nurse for 4 South & 4 North, I thank you for your very kind words & I will ensure your feedback is shared with the Team.

I wish you a speedy recovery.

Kind Regards

Tracey McGuigan

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