"After care following double-jaw surgery"

About: John Radcliffe Hospital

Last week I accompanied my granddaughter to hospital as she was to have double-jaw surgery. The pre-care, consultations, etc were excellent and she was well aware of the procedures to be carried out. However, the aftercare needs to be improved. She was on the specialist surgery ward. The first meal brought to her was shepherds pie. Fortunately, before she went into hospital I had read up about the food she would need to eat after the operation. All food should be pureed for two weeks. Mince was a definite no. This was taken away and all she had to eat was sago milk pudding. She was also given orange juice and again this was not suitable after this type of operation due to the acid. The other area of concern is that she was given a bag of medicines on discharge and these turned out to be paracetamol and ibroprofen tablets. As she was struggling to even eat pureed food, giving tablets was thoughtless. She has since seen her GP who was amazed not only about the tablets given but at the low level of pain control given. He has now prescribed a stronger liquid pain killer. Before her operation I had printed off of the internet help sheets produced by Guys and St Thomas Hospital. They have a very helpful list of foods which can be eaten after surgery. There is also some very helpful information on the sheets. I expected that my granddaughter would have some written information to take home about what to eat and drink after such an operation, especially as she is only able to eat and drink very little. Any information about diet was given to her verbally. She was in a constant state of pain, recovering from this operation and blood transfusion and not in any condition to remember what was said to her. I suggest that John Radcliffe follows other hospitals and issues guide lines for post-op care after jaw surgery. It seems such a shame that the post-op care does not match the pre-op care.

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Response from John Radcliffe Hospital

Thank you for your very kind comments regarding the pre-operative care your granddaughter received. It is always nice for the Trust to hear when things go well and I am very pleased that she received the care you would expect. I am very sorry that the after-care experience in the Specialist Surgery Ward did not meet the standard you could expect. Your feedback will be passed on to the ward manager and medical team. Should you wish to contact the Trust directly with any further comments or concerns please do not hesitate to contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 01865 221473 or at palsjr@ouh.nhs.uk and a PALS Officer will be happy to help.

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