"Day surgery review gallbladder removal"

About: Southmead Hospital

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I was admitted to L ward as a day patient to have my gallbladder removed. They intended to do this laparoscopically however as I have previously had a kidney removed they were unsure if this would be successful depending on how bad the scarring was internally. I felt the information given to me before my operation was clear and concise. The hospital was very clean and all staff recognised dignity. Whilst waiting to go into surgery I overheard another patient adjacent to me saying she had had MRSA which she claimed she had contracted during a previous stay at the same hospital. This absolutely petrified me before having the surgery. The nursing care was exemplary throughout. When I came round I was in extreme pain and was given pain relief. However, the effects of this took longer than expected to wear off and the nurses advised that I stay overnight to sleep it off. I felt that this advice and the care I received over night was excellent. During my time in recovery, whilst effected by strong opiates, a member of the surgical team came to explain the results of the surgery. But at this time I was still under the effects of anaesthesia and pain relief and couldn't clearly understand what was said. Had they visited me later, when I was more alert I would have taken in this information. As it is now I have no memory of the outcomes and I feel I had a right to know. However, the nurses did make up for this and I have made a full and speedy recovery without any aftermath or infection. Overall my stay at southmead was comfortable with excellent and caring staff and I am very grateful to them and the NHS.

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Response from Southmead Hospital

Dear Miss Parker-Clarke – thank you for your helpful and positive comments about your surgery and the care you received in Southmead Hospital. I am glad that in general you were pleased with the care and advice you received, and that this was delivered in a professional way. I note your comments about the information provided to you during the period of your immediate recovery and I apologise that you were not able to remember this. There is always a balance to be struck on how long to wait before informing patients about the results of their surgery, as every patient can receive different amounts and react differently to any pain relief provided: if left too long this causes unnecessary anxiety, and if provided too quickly then the patient may not be able to assimilate the information. I very much regret that you were unable to remember what was said. However, if you had made the ward staff aware then they should have been able to arrange for the Consultant or a member of their team to visit you and explain the results again. I apologise if this did not happen. If you would like to contact the Consultant’s secretary (via the central switchboard, if you do not have the number) and explain your concerns I am sure they can arrange for you to be contacted to resolve the matter. Thank you again for your positive feedback and I was pleased to hear that you have made a full and speedy recovery. Your comments have been fed back to the service manager so they can be aware of your views. Kind Regards – Steve Sykes Advice and Complaints Team

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