"It's the people who make it what it is"
About: Kingston Hospital Kingston Hospital Kingston Upon Thames KT2 7QB
Posted by Robin Wedderburn
I was referred for endoscopy and colonoscopy after anaemia was discovered (I had been experiencing bouts of extreme fatigue). The colonoscopy and subsequent CT scan revealed bowel cancer. From that moment on I was treated in such a way that I felt respected, well-informed and above all cared for in the most reassuring and human way imaginable. Two preliminary meetings with a delightful doctor gave me a general view of what was found and the treatment possibilities ahead. The meeting with the surgeon was very calming and helpful and my wife and I were given time, information and reassurance immediately afterwards by a colorectal advisor who seemed to have all the time in the world for us and had the perfect touch (she also visited me after the operation). Not only did I feel so lucky to be looked after by such dedicated and good people but there was the sense that everyone - individuals, departments and so on - were working together for my benefit. Very significant, to my mind. I felt very little apprehension as I was taken to theatre, delightfully and cheeringly treated in the anaeshtesia room and, quite evidently, beautifully operated on by my surgeon (I had a right-side hemicolectomy). After the operation I was well looked after in the High Dependency Unit (where my surgeon came to tell me all had gone well) before being moved to the Astor ward. The nursing here was a real tonic - skill, respect, consideration and a cheerful humour which helped so much. One particular doctor seemed assigned to keep a special eye on me during recovery- he happened to be an old friend - and several junior doctors also looked after me; they were all excellent and particularly helpful when I went into an unpleasant period of sickness (a common thing after bowel surgery, I gathered). Again it was the combination of information clearly given and a compassionate touch which helped me so much through a less-than-delightful few days. Ten days after discharge (yesterday, in fact) I had a follow-up appointment with the surgeon who was able to tell me that analysis of removed tissue had shown that the cancer was a grade less severe than previously thought, that no chemotherapy was recommended and that I could expect full recovery. He tried to persuade me that he deserved little of the credit when I thanked him. OK - you will think that I am extra grateful because everything turned out so well, but I am sure I would be as grateful for and impressed by the treatment and care I received if things had not been so good. This hospital is a magnificent institution - evidently a place where the staff want to do their best. I couldn't have had it better and feel so thankful.