"I recently underwent an hysterectomy ..."

About: Watford General Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

I recently underwent an hysterectomy at Watford Hospital and would like to praise the Consultant and the majority of the nursing staff who were attentive, helpful and informative on the gynaecological ward I stayed in and in Recovery after the op. All were pushed to their limits with constant admissions day and night and patients in varying stages of pre-op and post-op situations, but still I was cared for extremely well.

Visiting times were good. The ward Sister was extremely understanding and accommodating of my husband who had to visit me outside of the set hours.

Meal times were efficient. Even when I had been unable to order something the day before, a suitable meal was produced for me when I was ready.

There is a television over each bed and from this screen internet/email can be accessed and it has a telephone also. These services are provided by an outside company and require a card to be prepaid and purchased from a dispensing machine outside of the ward by the lifts. This has not always been in working order. Min charge £3.

What could be improved

The admissions procedure prior to my operation was a major let down. Because of "administration errors" the original date for my operation was cancelled the Sunday before the Monday I was due to go in. Nothing to do with no bed available as had previously happened to me on the day of another op. This caused me a lot of unnecessary additional stress and worry having to reorganise childcare, family commitments & my post op care also.

On the ward I would like to have seen a member of staff insisting that people and visitors clean their hands on entry and exit. Not everyone took notice of the signs putting vulnerable patients at risk.

One of the bathrooms had a faulty cold water tap. Water trickled out. One of the Patient toilets had a faulty lock.

One of the shifts had two pregnant nurses working together. This was not good planning. It meant that the other nurses were stretched even further, especially when one of them went home early because of her own pain. To watch these women giving 200% to try and make us patients comfortable and cared for is excruciating in itself. It made me feel that I really ought not try to be a nuisance by asking for a cup of tea because the trolley had not been brought round. Clearly this is not the fault of any of the nursing staff.

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Response from Antony Tiernan, Director of Corporate Affairs and Communications, Communications and corporate affairs, West Herfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust

picture of Antony Tiernan

Unfortunately, we didn't reply to this review at the time it was posted. Considering it is now old, we have decided not to respond. However, it has been read and its contents noted.

For more information about the work of our hospitals, visit www.westhertshospitals.nhs.uk. Alternatively, you can follow us on Twitter: @westhertsnhs.

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