"L4/L5 Discectomy - De La Mare Ward - Most caring..."

About: St Albans City Hospital

Admission: This was a little rushed as I was first on the list and transport difficulties had delayed me. I was stressed by the delays in getting there but two ward sisters and a porter got me to my bed in time to get started. The sister was totally unfazed by the lack of time left and made sure all the I's were dotted and T's crossed before she would release me to the theater. Theater: Being put to sleep was worrying but all of the staff in the anaesthetic room were understanding and professional, putting me at ease by explaining every step. Surgeon: I was operated on by a consultant orthopaedic surgeon on 22nd May. He was knowledgeable, carried an air of authority that instilled confidence, and he had even bothered to contact me two days prior to surgery to confirm methodology. I could not walk when I entered the hospital because of the pain. By 29th May I was walking around my house again already. I owe him a lot. Top man! In recovery, I was in masses of pain due to the type / extent of the surgery. I was so relieved to see someone from the Pain Control Team whom I had met during previous admissions when my back had flared up. She knew exactly what my history was and how much pain control i required to settle me down. I'd have hugged her if i could have moved for being there! Back on the ward: I have never, ever met such a well gelled, co-ordinated, happy and caring team of nursing staff. And that's counting 9 admissions in the last 10 years. Every one of them made me feel like it was their personal mission to make me as pain free and as comfortable as possible. Nothing was too much bother for them. Not only that, but they all knew about my condition, surgery, recovery and all the do's and don'ts. Even the domestic staff! That is some feat by the matrons to get that many levels of staff conversant in individual care plans. My only regret is that the painkiller meds made it difficult for me to remember any names for the thank you card. I have recently been an inpatient at another hospital which left a lot to be desired. They would gain loads by sending some of their staff to St Albans to learn about patient centered care. If I ever have to go through it all again, I would ask to go back to St. Albans.

Story from NHS Choices

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