"Unhappy with my stay in DCU"

About: Darent Valley Hospital / General surgery

(as the patient),

Went into DCU for a colonoscopy and polypectomy under general anaesthetic. I found the place was a shambles. There were full beds in every nook and crannie. Myself and another patient didn't even have a bed, just an armchair in a cubicle. I didn't see my surgeon at all, wouldn't know him from Adam!

I was asked if I minded a trainee paramedic watching how my throat tube was put in. Obviously, I said no, I wouldn't mind. My throat was so sore afterwards I couldn't even swallow, and my neck felt as if it was broken.

I told the anaethestist beforehand that I had arthritis in my neck and it was very stiff, but obviously nobody took any notice and put me in a painful position during the op. Three days later it is still very painful. I don't think I had been awake longer than 15 minutes when I was being told I could get dressed as soon as I wanted to, which I took to mean, hurry up and go, we need your bed. I felt really ill, but got up and went to sit in the lounge. I looked so pale one of the nurses took me into a cubicle to check my obs. The reason was, I needed to stay in bed for at least an hour to come to properly, but there just wasn't the facilities for this. I will never go back there.

My last op in the DCU was 12 years ago, and how much better it was then. I don't think the DCU is suitable for the procedure I had done and will never have it done in there again. I have had to have this procedure a number of times over the past 20 years, but this was by far my worst experience. I left for home not knowing what had been found or done, just that the histology report would follow in 2 weeks. I feel this is totally wrong.

Perhaps one day I will be introduced to the doctor. I came home with three heart monitors stuck to my chest - that's how fast they wanted me out!

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Response from Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust

We were very sorry to read about your experience and would like to reassure you that Darent Valley Hospital takes all complaints seriously.

We would very much like to investigate your observations and experience further and would ask you to contact our PALS team on 01322 428382 or via email pals@dvh.nhs.uk. This will help us to improve our services.

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Response from Darent Valley Hospital

Dear Stiff Neck Your comment dated June 2014 has only just been published on the NHS Choices website. It is our aim to respond to all comments in a timely manner and this has not been possible until now. We were very concerned to read of the concerns you have raised and although this all occurred many months ago we would very much like to discuss further your feedback. Please can we ask that you contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 01322 428382 or via email at pals@dvh.nhs.uk in order that we can look into this matter. Many thanks The Communication Team Darent Valley Hospital

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