"Thorough investigation prior to ..."

About: University Hospital (Coventry)

(as the patient),

What I liked

Thorough investigation prior to operating

Highly experienced surgeon

Adequate pain relief, both routinely and on request

Strenuous efforts to control infection – bed linen changed daily, hand gel everywhere, unwell and elderly patients assisted with daily washing/showers

Very comfortable beds

Punctual meal times, and morning and afternoon hot drinks

Helpful, pleasant, polite nursing and auxiliary ward staff - even with the most trying patients – others too eg porters and caterers

Excellent facilities

What could be improved

Discharge and Pharmacy services need overhaul. Despite being promised drugs by the doctors on my first discharge, after 3 hours waiting in the Hospitality (discharge) Lounge - which is not that hospitable - I was told I was getting none. After kicking up, I waited another 2 hours to get the promised drugs. On my second discharge (from a ward) five days later, I waited 7 hours from the end of the ward round in which I was told I could leave, before receiving promised drugs. From nurse’s comments this experience is not uncommon.

Because of nurses’ irregular shift patterns, there was little continuity - fresh faces most days.

Mid-evening drinks petered out about halfway through my 8-day stay. I had to resort to DIY from a tea trolley – OK if you’re mobile!

Little change day to day in the sandwiches offered.

No newspaper trolley at weekends – bad news in a ward with no TV or radio.

Not all conversation at the nursing station was work-related, sometimes while call-buttons went unanswered.

No notes or verbal guidance issued to me on discharge as to what I should expect, and what precautions to observe, after an abdominal operation.

Outrageous car-parking charges.

Anything else?

I was admitted twice to UH as an in-patient - via A&E at St Cross, Rugby – the first time in excruciating pain with a recurring condition, the second time 4 days later with a bleeding incision. On each occasion I received appropriate pain relief, and reasonably prompt medical assessment in the Surgical Assessment Unit from a suitably senior doctor. Since my consultant was unsure that fixing the condition would fix the pain, he first sought two second opinions and an X-ray examination. Thereafter I was operated on very quickly by a highly experienced surgeon – with no pain during the operation and pain relief afterwards. What more could you ask for?

Story from NHS Choices

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››