"Hernia operation"

About: George Eliot Hospital / General surgery

(as the patient),

My Visit to Hospital

• I was asked to arrive at a specific time 7: 30am at the day procedures department, I arrived 15 minutes earlier

• A sign in the room said that if I wasn't seen within 30 minutes I should speak to the reception which I did. Sometime later I was called into another room where I was kept which took the time to 4½ hours, during which there were periodic checks on blood sugar, temperature and blood pressure, but no information about progress or time scales. I was then told to go to the Victoria ward.

• I still work and am used to finding my way but to me the signage in the hospital is not particularly clear or very visible to the uninitiated and on arrival at Victoria it was not obvious where I should go. I suggest this could be very daunting to many older people. I announced myself at the desk but there was not an obvious person to report to. I was then shown to a single bed room and given gowns to wear.

• At the Victoria ward there were periodic checks on blood sugar, temperature and blood pressure. I was not told what the schedule was at any time.

• Once in the system, the various measurements were taken again and I was given an identity bracelet on which was my name, date of birth, gender and an identity reference. ( I am not sure in retrospect when this was in the process, but as someone involved in data processing this is a key moment and the time when the identity and any additional information such as allergies should be established, there should be no need to ask again).

• I was amazed in this day and age, that the various people involved in the care and procedures carried huge wads of paper. This either meant that this paperwork had to be passed on to all involved else information could change on one set and the other would not know. Also it means that if there is a computer system it would have to be copied in at a later date.

• I was asked many times during the day if I had any allergies, DoB and name, the inference is that the information given earlier had not been passed on.

• The operation went off in an orderly manner and I woke in my room some time later.

• The next day when I went to take my Amlodipine tablet and I realised that I had picked up two strips of my Statins instead of the Amlodipine, I explained this to a nurse who said that it would be supplied, this never happened despite repeat requests.

• Due to a sore throat ( which imagine was due a tube being inserted. ) I wasn't able to swallow but was offered only toast when soup would have been more appropriate.

• I was sent home with the adhesive heart monitor connectors still in place.

• As someone who has started and run two businesses, including a software company I was surprised that there did not appear to be any software storage and presentation of the data. If the staff had tablet machines to store and present the information there would be no need to carry large wads of paper, also it would manage the application and sequence of work steps and any changes would be passed immediately to all concerned.

• The ward should be managed by one person and they should allocate tasks to the staff. The surgeons would book the places with that person and set the preparation steps that they required, these could probably be pre-set according to the procedure to be undergone. When the steps become due the work could be allocated to a staff person and logged when complete. This would remove the repeating of steps or the missing of steps. The display could show steps as not due, due, overdue or complete. Following the procedure the surgeon could request changes in the steps if necessary and set medications to be administered.

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Response from George Eliot Hospital

Thank you for detailing your experience . I have directed the Ward Sister to your comments for information and learning. The use of technology is always under consideration but there are a number issues that do not always support its introduction. Unfortunately the human element of the process means that health care is not a straightforward procedure. Your comments have been forwarded to the Medical Director. Christine Longstaff George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust

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