"Your staff are a credit to you"

About: Russells Hall Hospital

I have nothing but praise for the level of care and consideration I received from your staff, on an individual basis, during my stay last Friday. From the cleaners to the surgeons, everyone was friendly, informative, caring and considerate. My gall bladder operation was very successful and I am making a speedy recovery, with little pain and no after effects from the anaesthetics. However, I feel I must raise three issues: l) I checked in just before 7.00 am, having slept only few hours due to cystitis. Staff Nurse did send a urine sample for analysis, which came back clear. After completing all the routine paperwork and talks with the Anaesthetist, Registrar and Staff Nurse, I had to sit on a chair in reception from 8.30 am to 3.45 pm, when I was finally called up for theatre prep. My cystitis had returned by 3.00 pm, so I was in considerable discomfort by then. The Anaesthetist sent down a glass of water for me at about 12.30 pm, but otherwise I had had no fluid intake since 6.00 am. 2) It took over an hour and several telephone calls by my son and daughter-in-law before I was finally located in Ward B3 following surgery. As you can imagine, my son was extremely worried by then. 3) I, and the lady in the next bed to me, had no sleep whatsoever on Friday, due the elderly lady opposite, who was shouting and rambling all night.

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Response from Russells Hall Hospital

Thank you Brenda for your positive comments about the care you received during your stay in hospital. It is good to know your operation was a success and that you are recovering well. We aim to offer the best possible care and it’s heartening to know you were so impressed by everyone you came into contact with. We must apologise for the time you had to wait before being called for your theatre prep. We would agree that the process for admitting patients in the early morning for surgery taking place later the same day does not enhance the patient experience. However, managing theatre lists can be very complex. Consultants will ask all patients on an ‘all day’ theatre list to check into the admission lounge early in the morning to enable them to manage the unpredictability of surgery and bed availability after surgery. Although in no way ideal for our patients, an all day theatre list means we can operate on as many patients as we possibly can who are due to have surgery that day: unfortunately we sometimes have to cancel operations for clinical reasons and so a patient needs to be ready to go into theatre at a moment’s notice. Patients can’t have a drink two hours before surgery and this poses some difficulty when we don’t know exactly when a patient is going to surgery. If water is consumed within two hours of surgery, the operation would have to be cancelled. However, we are looking at ways to improve this system so patients do not have to wait for such long periods of time. Our admissions lounge has recently moved to the day surgery unit and work is being done to improve the look and feel of the environment to make it more comfortable for patients. We are sorry your son and daughter-in-law had trouble finding which ward you were on after your operation. The information about which ward and bay a patient goes to after surgery is kept up-to-date on a board on the admission lounge. However, the location can change depending on bed and ward availability at the time. How often and at what point in time a patient can have fluids prior to surgery is at the discretion of the anaesthetist. It is difficult to comment on your specific case without reviewing your medical notes, but if you wished to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on free phone 0800 073 0510 we would happily look into the issues you have raised.

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