"Urology Ward - Bay 2"

About: Southmead Hospital

On Sunday just gone I had a Radical Prostatectomy as one of the last robotic patients for this type of surgery in the old Southmead Hospital. The care and service I received up to this point was second to none as was my first day or two on the urology ward after the operation. As is usual on any ward, the day staff were extremely busy leaving very little time for any personal attention to patients however one night time nurse certainly made up for this. She was not only extremely professional she was caring and compassionate with nothing being too much trouble and certainly made my stay more bearable. Unfortunately there is always a downer and that for me is the way discharged patients are kept waiting around simply because the pharmacy seem to take their time in issuing medication to be taken home. I can see no reason why someone told they can go home in the morning is still waiting for their medication 6 hours later even after numerous phone calls from the staff on the ward. I appreciate I am not the only person they had to deal with that day but everyone I spoke to seemed to have the same problem. Hanging around like this just makes people more anxious at a time they could do without added stress. I really believe this sort of situation needs to be addressed as the nursing and care staff can do without this extra hassle too. Another bone of contention is the parking which is currently inadequate for purpose. Day time parking in the week is almost impossible which adds to problem of picking someone up waiting to be discharged but waiting for medication! That said I have to reiterate that other then that, the service I have had since first attending for my biopsy has been excellent.

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Response from Southmead Hospital

Dear Mr Hatcher – thank you for your comments about your care and treatment, which will be shared with the staff involved. I am pleased that overall you found the service to be excellent. I regret that you had a downside to your experience in respect of your discharge. All wards aim to plan discharges and this should allow for any medications to be pre-ordered 24 hours in advance so they have been delivered from the Pharmacy in readiness. If this cannot be arranged the Pharmacy works to a standard response of delivering medications with 4 hours of a request, however the ward can always ask for an order to be expressed to reduce patient waits. Clearly this was attempted by the ward. Regrettably over the period you were discharged a number of factors may have impacted on the discharge process, and the surgical specialty, including the urology wards and the pharmacy were actively engaged in preparing and moving onto the new Brunel Building. It not clear why your medications were not pre-ordered or why the delivery then took so long, but please accept my apologies you had to wait as I understand just how frustrating this is once a patient is looking forward to going home. Your feedback has been forwarded to both the ward and the Pharmacy to ensure that if the failure was not down to the move planning, then lessons are learned for the longer term. The design of the new Brunel Building will also play a part in improving patient experience in that a pneumatic system will speed delivery of certain medications to the wards directly from the Pharmacy who are also extending their operational hours. I hope this gives you confidence the Trust is constantly reviewing our processes to seek improvements and that your feedback will be considered as part of this process. Regrettably the current building works on the Southmead site are at a phase where parking is reduced to a level below that which we would like to provide. I understand that many options were considered by the planning teams in respect of the parking arrangements on site, during this crucial stage of the redevelopment of Southmead Hospital, and I am informed that as far as was possible, given the finite space on site and the parking restrictions in the surrounding area, patient parking has been maximised. To achieve this, the majority of staff parking has been either withdrawn or transferred offsite and park and ride services have been introduced. A number of local transport initiatives have also been introduced and bus routes have been altered to provide improved local travel infrastructure, although I acknowledge this would not be appropriate for many discharge situations. Our plans do include increased parking on site at Southmead for our visitors and this will be provided once demolition of the old hospital buildings gets underway. A further increase will again be provided when our second multi-story car park is completed in 2015. We have tried to make all patients and visitors aware of the position through our website and other media, so they can leave more time to park, or use alternative travel to their appointments and I apologise that you experienced difficulties. Thank you again for your comments, I hope that your are soon fully recovered from your operation. Kind regards – Steve Sykes Advice and Complaints Team

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