"Nothing is perfect but my experience was plenty..."

About: Southmead Hospital

I spent 4 months undergoing tests and a biopsy that confirmed prostate cancer. On 30th July I underwent a radical prostatectomy. There were hiccups along the way often associated with communications, like discovering I had been taken off the list for the biopsy having arrived at 7am! This was resolved courtesy of the consultant and his team who fitted me in anyway. Notes disappearing or not available on the computer system seemed to be not uncommon but never actually fouled anything up. Whilst an in patient following my surgery, one particular nurse who appeared to lose sight of the patient whilst being totally occupied with the task was the exception in my dealings with many excellent staff over the period. I was otherwise made to feel cared for and safe throughout what was an unpleasant procedure and period of my life. The way inpatients order their meals is bonkers as it is clearly a first come system so that if you are at the end of the ordering process you get little or no choice. This must surely be able to be improved on? It created no issues for me at all but I bet it does for many! I am someone who takes great care to understand what is involved in any health care issue I may experience so I think I was generally well placed to understand what I was being told by the professionals along the way, I sometimes wondered how those less well informed would have found the process but I actually assume they would have been given more time and asked more questions at key points. the Pre Op Assessment was not as efficient as it might have been the second time around after the process involving several departments had been combined into a generic one from a series of specialist ones. I imagine this might make it less expensive for the hospital but the 3 hour process which involved much waiting around became tedious for many people on the day. These are all small criticisms and I feel almost churlish in noting them but any review is only of any value at all if it is totally honest, warts and all. On the plus side, caring, concerned, honest, professional and skilled staff who worked solidly and always with humour and patience were a joy to experience. I include everyone with whom I had contact, from consultants to the lowest paid worker on the ward.. The hospital building is a pleasure to be in and the availability of single rooms for so many patients is one of the most progressive bits of design and patient oriented thinking I have seen in the NHS (though the clock might be thought a bit of a folly but everywhere has one!). I would recommend Southmead Hospital and Urology Dept. to any of my friends or family but always with the proviso they might need a bit of patience to get through the processes in order to benefit from the treatments and the high quality staff experience. Having worked in or with the NHS all my adult life I could safely add that I know of places I wouldn't go for treatment but would always be happy to return to Southmead

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Response from Southmead Hospital

Dear Bruce – thank you for taking the time and trouble to post your constructive feedback on the Urology service at Southmead Hospital. Your comments have been shared with the appropriate staff and departments. I was pleased to learn that despite many small issues your overall package of care was very positive. We recognise that the settling-in process is still continuing and the services as a whole have still to fully adjust to the new environment. This was an expected consequence of effectively moving two hospitals into a brand new building, and asking staff to abandon local processes and practices developed over many years, and a huge amount of planning was undertaken ahead of the move to deal with the expected issues. It is the unexpected and unforeseen issues that are now being worked through and I apologise for any concerns which have resulted. The project was one of the biggest patient centred changes undertaken within the NHS in recent years. Please be assured that all the staff, at all levels within the organisation, continue to work hard to resolve the remaining issues some of which you have identified. Your comments about catering are also noted and I understand improvements are to be made in meal ordering provision. Thank you again for your endorsement of the Urology service. I hope that you make a good recovery from your operation. Kind Regards – Steve Sykes Advice and Complaints Team

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