"The doctors and nurses saved my life"

About: East Surrey Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as the patient),

I was urgently admitted to East Surrey Hospital recently via ambulance after being found collapsed at home. I was extremely ill with confusion, dehydration and diarrhoea. I was unaware of the first day of my admission but according to my family I was rapidly assessed and treated in the Resuscitation Department of A&E. I was critically ill, which was extremely traumatic for my family. They felt I was treated exceptionally well by the nurses and doctors and were kept informed at all times.

I was moved to HDU but deteriorated so required a bed on ICU. I recall becoming aware I was in ICU with all the various lines and tubes being an experience I won't forget. My anxiety was quickly relieved by my exceptional nurse, who was compassionate, caring and reassuring. I was orientated and explained why I was where I was. She made my first 2 days as comfortable for me and my family as possible. The whole department feels overwhelming and at times frightening, yet the staff went to every effort to reassure and explain things. Despite feeling ill and uncomfortable I felt that I was in safe hands and this was so important for keeping my morale up. It was also important for my family, who felt as reassured as possible about what was wrong and the treatment I was receiving.

I was in the department for 5 days. I also have all the other nurses and of course the doctors to thank for saving my life, and making my stay as comfortable as possible.

I was transferred to Tandridge Ward for 2 days where I had a pleasant private room to recover until I was well enough to be discharged home. I was very impressed to be visited by an ICU outreach nurse after my transfer who gave me a chance to talk about my stay on ICU and the transfer to a ward, which is a huge difference in intensity of care and the change can be difficult to adapt. The staff on Tandridge ward all worked well together and I was as comfortable as possible. They were friendly and available, but I was largely left on my own to recover, which I needed.

The food and menu choices were not to my taste, however my appetite was not great, but this if I had one area for improvement would be the one I recommend.

I was discharged following a review by the Consultant Physician and her team, which was a very clear and professional discussion. I was discharged with a clear written summary of my diagnosis and treatment along with my medication and this happened very quickly and I was impressed as this process can often take time. I remain physically weak but I am making a slow but steady recovery.

What could have been a far more unpleasant and traumatic experience I believe was down to the professional and compassionate staff who treated my both my medical problem but also myself as an individual. I experienced true holistic care, despite how busy ever one is and the staff are exceptionally hard working and really wanted to provide excellent care.

In summary, the excellent staff at this hospital saved my life. I found the staff to be friendly, caring, professional and I am extremely grateful to everyone. Myself and my family thank all the staff in Resuscitation, ICU and Tandridge Ward for saving my life, and for reducing the distress and uncomfortable feeling of being so ill as much as possible.

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Response from Bethan Borrett, Digital Communications Manager, Communications, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear 'psychutch'

Thank you for taking your time to comment about your experience at East Surrey Hospital. I am pleased to read that both you and your family felt that you were treated exceptionally well during your time in our care and that they were kept informed of your condition. I know it must have been an incredibly distressing time and I am glad that the doctors and nurses at East Surrey Hospital made you feel as though you were in safe hands during your stay.

I will make sure that your comments are passed onto the teams in Resuscitation, ICU and Tandridge Ward - I know they will be pleased and encouraged to read what you have written about your stay in each of the departments. Good feedback always means a lot to our staff.

I hope that you continue to make a good recovery.

Kind Regards,

Bethan Borrett

Digital Communications Manager

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