"Experience with Consultant at Brighton Royal Sussex"

About: Royal Sussex County Hospital / General surgery Sussex Orthopaedic NHS Treatment Centre / Orthopaedics

(as a relative),

Accompanied my mother who was going to hear suggested outcome to MRI scan suggesting Spinal Stenosis. Witnessed some pretty bad information sharing at the very least! ! ! !

Meet with consultant who welcomed us in. Asked a few questions about where it hurt, how far could my mum walk and then pulled up MRI scan. Consultant then said she needed a spinal operation and was then called out of the room. Came back 5 mins later, saw my note book and asked if we had any questions. I asked for more detail on all, any concerns with my mother diabetes, what did the procedure entail, pro's and cons, etc.. (as per on line Harvard guide. ) Very much felt these questions were met with a sigh and indifference (we were also interrupted twice more with people discussing, in whispers, something in the 8' x 8'room).

However I'm glad I asked as we found out several pretty major things which had not been mentioned before this point;

- The operation would take place in another hospital (Haywards Heath)

-My mother would be in recovery for 6 weeks and unable to drive for almost 3 months

-Some potential major side effects / risks - percentages given when pushed

-Physio would be required (no additional info offered)

-No idea of waiting list, we "would have to find the number of the Princess royal's orthopedic waiting list manager"...(no offer to give number, find out..)

-Oh, If mum was on aspirin (she is) then stop taking it 2 weeks prior...no offer of any effect this may have on diabetes

Finished with "there's lots of information about this on the internet"...ok for me, but not my mother as she has no computer, nor does she know how to use one.

End result - we will find the number, ask to arrange a meeting with consultant from Haywards Heath and have a meeting to discuss the "finer" points - ie, assistance with after care (presumably mum will be bed bound for a bit), Physio plan, etc...

Even with interruptions we were only there for about 15 mins, so if my mum had been alone and left without asking questions she would not have had a clue about a procedure that was going to affect her life considerable for at least 3 months, and would need her to have additional care in the short term for washing, cooking, etc...

It really did feel like the consultant considered us to know all of this, how the procedure might be carried out, risks and how the NHS inner communications worked.. any question met with (what felt like) the attitude of reminding us of something we had been told several times.

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Response from Royal Sussex County Hospital

I was very sorry to learn of your mother's experience today and would very much like to discuss this with you in more detail. If this would be helpful to you please do contact our PALS team on 01273 696955 ext 4588

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