"Good experience - but not at Derriford"

About: Derriford Hospital

Anything else?

Whilst I have nothing but praise for some of the departments at Derriford, my recent experiences with the Urology department have been frustrating and gave me great cause for concern. My husband had a catheter fitted in July 2013 and was advised that this would have to be changed after 28 days at the latest or there would be a high risk of infection. After two weeks I rang to ask for a date for his appointment and was told that no paperwork existed for him. Eventually the paperwork was found and an appointment date set. When I expressed concern because the date given meant that his catheter would be in place for almost 7 weeks instead of 28 days, I was told not to worry because 'They always tell you things like that"! Needless to say, he did have a bad infection. After the 7 weeks the catheter was removed and a new one put in place. 2 weeks later when we hadn't been given a follow up appointment, I 'phoned again. After another hunt for the paperwork my husband was given an appointment for the following week. Then he had a phone call with an appointment for the next day, due to a cancellation. We met with the doctor at Derriford Urology, to discuss the options available to my husband. At that meeting the doctor explained to my husband that the surgery we had read about which we thought would be best, wasn't available at Derriford. He gave us some literature and his secretary's phone number, saying we could contact him at any time with further questions or if we needed any help. We did try to ask him more about the procedures at Derriford, because the literature he'd given us was hopelessly out of date. We spoke to his secretary who promised us that he'd phone us back in a few days. After two weeks we gave up. In October we wrote to the doctor to advise him that we did want the procedure we had asked about at our meeting, even though it wasn't available at Derriford. Our letter ended with the hope that he might help us to do this. He didn't reply to us, but wrote to our GP a fortnight later without even sending us a copy. I’ve put this down to sheer bad manners. In November my husband went to Addenbrookes hospital, where a doctor performed surgery on his prostate - what a difference - a truly caring gentleman a wonderful surgeon and a professional booking system!

Story from NHS Choices

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 afternoon

Thank you for your posting and I was disappointed to hear of your husband's poor experiences within the Urology department; in particular, the difficulties you both experienced in getting answers to your enquiries and delays in between appointments. I have forwarded your comments to ask the Urology Service Line team to review your observations in the light of what is being done to improve the overall patient experience.

I note that your husband eventually had his surgery in November at Addenbrooks Hospital and whilst I am disappointed that he had to travel so far afield for his operation, the team at Addenbrooks clearly served him very well.

Thank you once again for bringing this important learning points to our attention.

Kind regards


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

Updates, changes and questions related to this story