"Excellent service apart from the porter and waiting for medication."

About: Derriford Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as a relative),

In November 2013 my wife had a knee replacement. I have nothing but praise for the service and care she was given by all in Derifford Hospital especially ALL the staff in Stannon ward and the physiotherapy department. This includes the service given before admission.

My only complaint is with the porter when my wife was discharged on a Saturday. The porter arrived on the ward with a wheelchair to get my wife to the main entrance of the hospital. I went ahead of them to get the car from the car park to the main entrance. When I arrived at the main entrance ( only a few minutes ) I found my wife standing in the entrance with a lot of effort and discomfort.

When I asked my wife where the porter and wheelchair was, she said that the porter said they needed the wheelchair and my wife had to get out of the wheelchair and wait standing. I cannot believe that at about 18:00 hrs on a Saturday evening there could have been that much of a demand for a porter and wheelchair although at any time of the day surely the porter should have had some understanding of the discomfort a patient would have and have and realised that someone ( me ) was in the process of getting the car from the car park and would only had to wait a few minutes, very unimpressed.

While I am posting this message there is another comment I would like to make. My wife was advised early afternoon that she could go home and had to wait for her medication, it took over 4 hours for this medication to arrive. There were others on the ward who were also waiting for their medication, some waiting for 6 hours.

I know this is not a one off or due to it being a Saturday as in the past earlier in the year we had to wait over 5 hours for medication to arrive and know of others who have had the same experience of waiting for medication.

I would not like these negative comments to distract from the comments made at the start of this message about the excellent service given to my wife in all the other areas of her treatment.

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››


Response from Mary Anderson, Senior Quality Facilitator, Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust

Good morning and thank you for your posting. At the outset, I am pleased to note that your wife received a high standard of care from all the staff on Stannon Ward and the Physiotherapy team and can I assure you these comments will be passed on to the teams involved.

I was, however, disappointed to read that your wife was left to stand and wait in the main entrance. I can only agree that it would have been far more sensible for her to be allowed to remain in the comfort of a wheelchair and on behalf of the Trust, I apologise that this did not happen. I will ensure that the team at Serco are made aware.

I was also sorry to note there was a delay in your wife's medication being delivered. On a more positive note, there has been a recent change in pharmacy provision and the hospital pharmacy department now offers an extended service at the weekends and we anticipate this will lead to a significant reduction in delays.

May I take this opportunity to wish you both well and thanks once again for your helpful feedback.

With kind regards


  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful

Response from Mary Anderson, Senior Quality Facilitator, Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust

Good afternoon

Further to my previous posting I have heard back from Serco, who provide the general portering service at the Trust. The Serco team were most concerned to hear of your wife's poor experience when she was discharged from hospital. They have asked if you could possibly provide us with the date on which your wife was discharged from hospital so they can investigate further?

Thank you once again for your feedback. It is appreciated.

Kind regards


  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful

Updates, changes and questions related to this story