"Obtrusive inpatient call system, surely..."

About: Peterborough City Hospital

On Tuesday 9th July I was admitted to Peterborough Hospital for a routine hernia operation. I have, as they say, nothing but praise for my surgeon and his support team, who did everything they could to make the experience as stress free as possible. Many thanks to them, and I hope my comments can somehow go on record. However it was decided that I should stay overnight in what I believe is called the 23 hour unit. There I was given a comfortable single room and both the day and night staff gave me excellent care. Despite my operation I felt reasonably comfortable, but had a very disturbed night. The reason was that the call system for assistance triggers a loud single beep which is repeated at full volume every 10 seconds. Many times during the night I would doze off only to be roused by the repetitive beep. This sometimes went on for ten or more minutes at a time (I counted). When I commented on this to the ward sister/ nurse later she simply said, "oh it's been a quiet night really but there's only two of us on duty and we are sometimes tied up with patients." I'm sure this was true but surely it's not beyond the skills of management to devise a system which alerts nurses but not everyone else in the vicinity. It makes a nonsense of all the trouble that staff go to. I should also mention that my green bag of medications and advice/ feedback notes was not returned to me and I was given no briefing on how I should care for myself subsequent to the operation. I hope this feedback is useful and would be happy to discuss it further if it would help other patients. Yours Martin Lucas

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