"Day Surgery at Trinity Day Care"

About: Mount Vernon Hospital

Anything else?

This is the first time I have been admitted to an NHS hospital, although I have visited this hospital for outpatient treatment. The building is quite modern, clean and spacious. There was some noisy building work going on next to the unit, but that is inevitable from time to time. There is no reception as you enter the building: it is located in the middle of the building, so I just followed signs upstairs to the unit. On arrival, I was given my file and asked to go back downstairs to see the consultant. Afterwards I came back up to the unit and was allocated a bed. One thing I noticed was that no-one introduced themselves to me by name or function, so I did not know who was in charge, whether the various people working on the ward were nurses or assistants, or who I should be speaking to about my case. People were neither friendly nor unfriendly, just rather impersonal. Perhaps they do not regard it as part of their job to try to put people at ease when they might be worried about the upcoming operation, but I certainly missed having some supportive reassurance or just a general description of what would happen and when.The paperwork for my admission had a wristband which did not have the relevant allergy warning on it, although I had given this information previously (several times) as part of the multi-stage pre-operative process at this hospital and Hillingdon Hospital. I did not have to wait long before being taken to the theatre, where the staff seemed much friendlier and more supportive. However, they seemed unable to tell me what would happen after my discharge (in terms of removal of dressings, use of medication etc); they said the ward staff would have this information. However, this turned out not to be the case at least initially and I had to ask several times for this relatively simple information to be obtained. Overall, I am sure the treatment I received was of good quality; it's just that it would be a lot nicer to have somewhat more engaged and co-ordinated attention with greater reassurance being offered. As it was, the atmosphere was rather conveyor-belt like and, as I say, impersonal in feeling. Just a few changes of approach would make the whole experience much more comfortable and reassuring: being greeted by people who tell you who they are; knowing who is handling your treatment; understanding who does what; having a better communication between theatre and ward staff; asking staff to think about the patient's possible anxieties and to be reassuring.

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Response from Mount Vernon Hospital

I would like to apologise for what you have experienced as your first admission to an NHS hospital. However I am pleased that your treatment went well. I totally agree with you that it is vital for staff to be welcoming by introducing themselves & making patients feel at ease, as a hospital admission can be quite frightening for most people. Post -operative information is given to all patients during the discharge process once patients have fully recovered & ready to leave the unit. I apologise this was not explained to you in the first instance & meant that you had to ask for this information several times for reassurance. I can reassure you that this isn’t the usual practice on our Day Care Unit and our patients are always cared for at very high standards both physically & emotionally. I have discussed your concerns with the Day Care Unit team & they are aware that regardless of how busy they are, high standards should not slip at any time. Staff agreed that the standard of care you received does not meet the standard that we set for ourselves, this will be a lesson learnt for the future that will not be repeated. Roya Cole - Matron

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