"The medical staff are lovely, ..."

About: Warrington Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

The medical staff are lovely, right across the board and as helpful as they can be, when the issue is medical.

What could be improved

Access and communication. The Orthopedic department has a lip on the kerb outside so impossible to get a wheelchair over this without assistance, the doors to the department are so heavy that you need assistance to enter. Bearing in mind that a lot of patients are on crutches or in a wheelchair. There is a number system for reception but as this is 'side on' when you walk in you miss it (it has been a major effort to get this far and having found the reception desk you are heading for that with all your might!) and only find out when the grumpy receptionist waves a pen in that direction and grunts at you. Having ignored you initially. Then you go around to the fracture clinic and notice a ticket system for the plaster room. From the first experience you take a ticket only to be told that you dont do that until you have seen the consultant! I am not a mind reader! Where are the great big notices telling me what to do? Self opening doors to the department please and some great big signs telling you what to do.

Anything else?

Casualty was another experience. There appears to be a culture amongst most of the staff that if you ask a question about your condition they answer it professionally and very knowledgebly (there is clearly a script somewhere) No particular problem with that. The problem is that different departments tell you different things. It took 9 telephone calls on day 2 to find out whether I was being operated on and why the decision had changed from the previous day. Now that is confusing. My injury will get better eventually and I am not overly worried but I would hate to have a more serious condition because I would be totally confused. Outside of this advice you are treated as a spectator to their work, mentioning anything outside of specific medical queries is met with looks of disbelief as if the patient is purely that and should not 'chat' about anything else. Sorry for being human. I once took my elderley mother to casualty, she had broken her wrist and we only found this out when the nurse arrived with the plaster trolley and I asked if she had broken something. I would hate to send my mother in there on her own.

The reception desk at the front of the hospital is manned by the most pleasant of people, who will deal with you once they have finished their chat! Not helpful when I had struggled to get that far on my crutches and was exhausted.

It appears to be a culture across the board that the patients are an interuption to the work of the staff. The medical condition isnt, but the person behind the condition speaks at their own peril! I say this with the exception of my physiotherapist, who kindly remebered a personal trauma I was experiencing on the previous visit and asked me how things were. To this day, and 3 months down the line, not one person has enquired about how I am managing with this temporary disability! That is shocking! I am more than my leg!

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