"Surgery for Breast Cancer"

About: Darent Valley Hospital

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After the shock of being diagnosed with Breast Cancer after routine a mammogram in September this year, I chose to have my surgery at Darent Valley. On my first visit to the breast clinic I met my consultant and the Macmillan Breast care nurse. I realised immediately that I had made the right descision to have my treatment at this hospital. At an extremely stressful and worrying time in my life, I knew at once that I was in very good hands, both the Consultant and the nurse quickly put me at ease, and were very reassuring, Everything was explained in an unhurried and detailed way, I was listened to, and all my fears adressed. I was given a telephone number to contact the breast care nurse at any time if I had any worries or anxiety, or just to ask for support. No questions were left unanswered, I felt relieved, and so much more confident in my prognosis. I have just returned home from hospital after my cancer surgery on 16th October. From the moment I was admitted to the Sugical Admissions lounge, myself and my family, were treated with the utmost respect, in clean, friendly and welcoming surroundings. My treatment in the Scanning and X-ray areas was made so much easier by the easy going, friendly and chatty manner of the lovely staff there too. The staff in that very busy area of S.A.L. are exceptional. I was kept fully informed at all times of my position on the operating list, made comfortable, and felt that even though they are under obvious pressure to keep everything running efficiently, they never lose touch with the fact that they are dealing with people who are in a very worrying position. I would like to make special mention of two particular members of staff, who spent the morning not only looking after me, but making me laugh too... you were great when you accompanied me down to the theatre, and still managed to keep me laughing..Thank you, you were both so fabulous! After my operation, in the theatre recovery area, the nurses, who were very busy, made me feel so much better, nothing was too much trouble, even bringing me a cup of tea, Thank you, it was much appreciated. Once taken to the ward, again, I was treated with dignity, kindness and care. The ward was clean, comfortable and the medical staff so friendly. I spent a very pleasant night in there, and laughed so much, I felt that I was on holiday! I would like to say a very sincere Thank You to all involved in my short stay at Darent, especially to the Consultant, her surgical skills save so many lives of women like me, who find themselves diagnosed with Breast Cancer. To the nurse, I would like to say a huge thank you for being such a warm human being and a wonderful support. I know my ongoing journey with breast cancer will be less stressful because of the care of these two special women. I would also like to say how fortunate I feel to have really experienced the NHS at its very best at Darent Valley Hospital. Thank you all so much.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Darent Valley Hospital

Dear Marion Thank you so much for the wonderful comment you have posted on the NHS Choices website. We are grateful to you for taking time, at what is a difficult period for you, to let us know about your experience. At DVH we strive constantly to improve the patient experience, often in challenging circumstances. It is so uplifting to hear from patients when we have obviously met their expectation and given them treatment and care which has made them feel we have showed compassion, empathy and understanding of their needs. I will ensure that the clinical teams with whom you have had contact are made aware of your comments. I am delighted that you have found the hospital so supportive, but I’m sure that being home is also a pleasure and relief. I trust that the on-going support of our clinical teams will continue to provide you with the help you require to manage your pathway of care. With kind regards and best wishes for your future health Kate King Interim Director of Nursing Ms Seema Seetharam Consultant Surgeon and lead clinician for the Breast Cancer Service

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