"Day Surgery - Crawley Hospital"

About: Crawley Hospital / General surgery

(as the patient),

I arrived at Reception after noon and was directed through to the “recovery room” which had various patients and family members in. Later a nurse came in to “tag” me and take blood pressure etc This was followed by a series of questions that were already submitted on my pre-assessment form.

After this the Anaesthetist came through, asked me a similar set of questions and disappeared. Later a member of the surgical team invited me through to the office, explained the procedure, explained the medication I would be receiving and asked me to duly sign the consent form advising me that surgery was scheduled for a certain time that day!

I was shown to a bed, a nurse ran through the same set of questions and I then waited on the ward for some 3hrs before a theatre staff member came along, asked me the same questions again before taking me to theatre where some of the same information was regurgitated!

Out of theatre at around 40 minutes after my op and last man standing, well laying in the ward. Eventually discharged over 2hrs later but no medication because the pharmacy was closed! Brilliant! I was told to collect the next day. Not much use to somebody with post-operative pain!

I received two telephone calls the following day asking why the prescription hadn’t been collected and having made special arrangements to do so and upon arrival at the Day Care Ward discovered that one of the items was missing and couldn’t be located!

So in summary, why does one have to spend five hours waiting when surgery is “scheduled? ” Why was there no medication available despite myself and the surgical team knowing prior to the procedure what would be prescribed? Why is there no out of hours Pharmacy or the ability to dispense fairly standard medication? Why was I asked the same set of paper based questions time and time and time again?

The process from admission to discharge is fundamentally flawed and intensely overly bureaucratic. Staff in general are very good, sadly underpaid, overworked, stressed and unappreciated but very good.

Add in woefully inadequate car parking, post-operative pain and discomfort, unnecessary journeys and all in all it makes for a pretty miserable experience.

Ho hum, as long as they meet the Care Quality Commissions minimum targets, nothing will change! KPI’s and targets seem to overshadow basic patient care. How sad.

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Response from Tasha Gardner, Communications Manager, Marketing and Communications, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

I am sorry to hear about your experience as a day patient at Crawley Hospital recently and the problem with your medication. I have passed your comments on to our chief pharmacist who will get in touch with you.

If you would like to contact me at tasha.gardner@sash.nhs.uk I can pass your details and comments on to the matron in charge of the department.

kind regards

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Response from David Heller, Chief Pharmacist, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear Old Reigation

I’m sorry to hear that you were not supplied with painkillers to take home with you.I can assure you that the Day Surgery Unit keeps a range of basic painkillers that can be provided in the situation you describe. In addition there is an on-call pharmacist who can advise and, if necessary supply medicines out of normal hours. If you’d like to get in touch with me I will happily look into your specific prescription and the circumstances. My email address is david.heller@sash.nhs.uk.

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