"Brilliant building, poor communications"
About: Southmead Hospital Southmead Hospital Bristol BS10 5NB
Posted by A**
No one can surely discredit the amazing new building at Southmead Hospital. However, the communication between staff and varying departments has left something to be desired. After waiting a total of 13 hours between A&E and waiting for my minor surgery, I was left with a bitter taste. I cannot fault the quality of the staff that treated me, and I am full of praise for the young nurse that constantly reassured and comforted me. However, the sheer lack of doctor - patient communications was appalling. Not once during my wait did someone attempt to explain the situation to me or apologise for the wait. Considering I was due to have a general anaesthetic, I was not allowed to eat or drink prior to my surgery. In respect of this, the 13 hours wait was made even more uncomfortable due to lack of food or water since the night before. The fact I eventually undertook a local anaesthetic is by the by, however, it appears a lack of communication made for an even lesser opinion of the experience. In addition to this, as I had been referred to the surgery theatres from the previous day from A&S, it appeared my details were left trailing behind me and had not been 'put on the system' yet. My resounding impression of the whole experience remains - 'what's the point in fantastic staff and facilities when basic communications and systems are fundamentally lacking?' To put the icing on the cake, during my visit, it appeared all card payments throughout the whole of the hospital were down and consequently left myself and other patients no doubt struggling to find change for a mere bottle of water. This added to the consistent pain of parking at the hospital. Why build a super-hospital when you have failed to provide a car park prior?! The sheer lack of parking and roads surrounding the Brunel building were a complete nightmare and only added to the stress of the situation. How it is expected that people can arrive on time to their appointments when they have to circle the block numerous times just to pay a fortune for care? Not only this, but considering I was referred to A&E I would have expected to have parked in the specially allocated A&E car park (which is free to users). With less than 50 allocated spaces, I had to park over the complete opposite side of the grounds, pay a ridiculous fee, and walk the journey back to A&E. With a minor emergency I was able to walk, but surely it is unacceptable to expect poor patients who ultimately could be in agony and unable to walk, to endure such stress attempting to get in the door of the hospital! In spite of my grumbles, I have the highest praise for the brilliant staff at Southmead. However, my whole hospital experience was somewhat clouded by poor systems and basic hospital planning.