"Day Surgery experience via Ward 6 West"

About: Charing Cross Hospital

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This was appaling for the following reasons: 1.Waiting area for surgery was a seat with many others at side of a busy corridor - patients, visitors, staff and trolleys passing through. 2.There were no proper interview rooms just a shambolic side room plus use of what appeared to be a meeting room and a clinic for discussions with surgical team. The whole area was shabby. 3.The nurse doing the paper work was new to the area, had limited communication skills and didn't appear to fully undrstand the process or paper work. 4.Waited from 7.30 am till nearly 1pm and suddenly rushed to theatre (walking) via lift to somewhere like the 14/16 floor - I wasn't the last in the queue. 5.Shown to a toilet outside theatre which was grubby and too late discovered had no toilet paper or paper towels, this toilet is presumably the one used by theatre staff! 6.In recovery room the only commuication was to be told I would be going back to the ward in about 15 mins, this was when my oxygen mask was taken off. 7.I enquired of someone - porter I think- where I was being taken and was told going back to the ward I had come from - 2 hours later when calling friend to take me home discovered from other patients I was in a completely diferent area - the Riverside unit- it was clean. 8.Aftercare consisted of small plastic cup of tea and 2 small plastic cups of water, sandwich and a Yogurt and a BP check - no check on pain, headache, passing urine or blood ( I had bladder surgery). Took myself to the toilet - had to climb over end of trolley because sides up and eventually helped myself to more water. 9. Nursing staff largely absent and uncommunicative - only really responded to repeatesd cries of anguish from lady on next tolley calling desperately for assistance to go to the toilet - she had severe mobility problems and had been in the same queue as myself so presumably had some kind of bladder surgical proceedure. 10 Waited 3 hours from arrival in ward to receiving medication. 11.No one came to see me to discuss the outcome of my surgical proceedure and give aftercare advice. Who decided I was fit to go home? 12. My only information is the discharge summary for my GP. When you consider that the patient group I was in the queue with appeared to consist of people who where having bladder or prostate surgery and probably had a diagnosis or potential diagnosis of cancer I believe the whole process was unsafe (unfit for purpose), distressing and unbelievable in a major London teaching Hospital Visited in August 2013. Posted on 30 August 2013

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Response from Charing Cross Hospital

Imperial College Heathcare NHS Trust responded to this posting on 2nd September. You contacted the PALS Manager and discussed how you wished your concerns to be taken forward. You made it clear you did not wish to make a formal complaint. You were informed that the Trust was taking the issues you raised extemely seriously but requested no further contact. Please contact the PALS service again if we can assist further.

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