"Surgery on 26 September 2013"

About: Kettering General Hospital

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I attended the Treatment Centre at 7.30am on 26 September 2013 for surgery. Staff there were mystified because (a) they thought I was there for an operation which had already taken place; (b) the Consultant undertaking my surgery was not working there that day; (c) I had not undergone a Pre-Assessment so they had to use the details from the previous operation in July 2013; (d) I was scheduled to stay in hospital overnight but the Treatment Centre closes at 9.pm. It was eventually ascertained that my surgery would take place in the Main Hospital Theatres though this did not take place until 5.00/6.00pm. Question - why if surgery was not scheduled until late in the day was I called in at 7.30am? My husband tried to ascertain if I was alright and ended up ringing 9 different telephone numbers, some of which were not answered and others who merely passed him on to another number. The ninth number was Geddington Ward who responded appropriately. When I returned to the Treatment Centre (8.00pm approximately) I was told that there were no beds available in Geddington Ward, incidentally the Ward which my Consultant had told me I would be in throughout my stay. However at about 8.45pm a bed was found in Geddington Ward and I was transferred. Early on Friday 27 September 2013 the Sister on Geddington Ward attempted to find a Doctor in the relevant Consultant's team to see me, firstly to decided whether there was a need to fit a plaster cast to my operation site and secondly to discharge me. The Sister persisted with her efforts but found that no Doctors were responding to their pagers. She was so frustrated that she reported the matter to the Senior Nursing Manager (?). At 3.00pm I informed the new Sister on duty that if a Doctor could not be located by 3.30pm then I would discharge myself. Miraculously a Doctor arrived at 3.20pm and after loosening the bandage on my surgery site, discharged me. I have the highest praise for the nursing staff throughout my stay but the question of correct administration - so that all those involved in a patient's care know what is happening; and communication between those caring for a patient - be it nursing staff/ Doctors - is timely and appropriate - both area appear to need some improvement..

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Response from Kettering General Hospital

Thank you very much for taking the time to comment. I am so glad to hear that the nursing staff with whom you met receive your praise, please be assured that this has been communicated back to them. I am very sorry to learn that your experiences around the processes which should have supported your stay with us were far from satisfactory and did not meet the Trusts high expectations on this occasion. We are always seeking to improve the service which we provide to our patients and to this end would very much like to meet with you and use your experience as a method of future learning. If you would be kind enough to contact me and arrange a time that is most convenient to you I would be most grateful. If you would like to, please contact me via our PALS service on 01536 493305 or email pals@kgh.nhs.uk We are always very appreciative when a patient takes the time to respond so once again, thank you. Karen Birch Sister, Pathways and Practice (Surgery & Orthopaedics)

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