"The only good care i received was from the surgical team "

About: Queen Charlotte's Hospital / Gynaecology

(as the patient),

I was admitted to Victor Bonney Ward for a total hysterectomy towards the end of July. I have nothing but praise for the doctors who undertook my surgery and for the nurses and nursing assistants whom I have seen in outpatients. I was very anxious before the surgery and the anaesthetic team put me at ease.

However, I feel I received very poor care from the majority of the nursing staff on Victor Bonney Ward and would not be happy to be an inpatient there again. Despite asking for pain relief repeatedly, my request was not acknowledged for 4 hours (and I also saw other patients struggling with this).

I asked a nurse how best to get out of bed following my op and was told to figure it out myself. I was told to call for assistance when I had finished in the bathroom (the first occasion after getting up); no one came for 15 minutes. When I returned to my bed, my bags had been placed on it and I was unable to lift them off but no one came to help.

I also had an unfortunate experience whereby the sanitary pad they had placed between my legs post op fell on the floor when I first got up. I was unable to retrieve it and asked for someone to help. This was ignored and I was mortified when I returned from the shower to see if still lying there on the floor. I feel this was unacceptable for me and the other patients in the bay. When the nursing staff switched from night to day there were no introductions and I did not know who was looking after me. The list goes on...

On a separate note, whilst I feel the surgical team were excellent I felt very let down by my surgeon's secretary. I had repeatedly tried to contact her in the days leading up to the operation - via email and phone (with an urgent query). She never responded...until I received a voicemail on my mobile the evening AFTER my surgery saying she hadn't had a chance to ask him my questions etc! ! ! She hadn't even taken note of my name or surgery date.

Thankfully, I had seen the surgeon in the anaesthetic room immediately pre-op and he had answered my questions (and said he had not received anything from his secretary regarding my concerns). This all added to the stress of having the surgery and I feel her behaviour was unprofessional to say the least.

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Response from Christine Cornell, PALS manager, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust appreciates your comments. Patient feedback is important to us.

Thank you for your kind appreciation for the surgical team and staff in out patients.

However, we are concerned to read your comments with regard to nursing care on Victor Bonney Ward, this is certainly not in keeping with the standards we strive so hard to achieve. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss this with you so that we can ensure that this is dealt with in a robust manner.

We would ask you to please call our PALS service on 020 3312 7777 if you would like to discuss this further in confidence.

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