"Heart Surgery"

About: Wythenshawe Hospital / Cardiology

(as the patient),

I had a large heart operation in February, 2009. A few points: first, the team of surgeons and the ICU staff are superb. The service in the new Intensive Care units (CCU) was exemplary: one to one, fantastic array of equipment, professional and friendly staff.

F6 - the main hospital ward to which heart patients return after their stay in the CCU - now seems very shabby after spending some time in what felt like a space ship. The nursing staff are excellent, the attention perfect - but the whole place seems terribly run down, with ancient washing facilities in rooms that were past their sell-by date decades ago.

Two other factors are negative. First, the food is diabolical. From the toast in the morning - pieces of indeterminate rubber - to the apology for 'fish and chips' in the middle of the day, the food served to patients is neither healthy or edible. It's a disaster.

Second, patients in wards like F6 are constantly being sent to different places in the hospital for tests - XRays, Ultrasounds and the like. They are, at this point, at the mercy of a group of porters who ferry them from place to place by wheelchair. This system is creaking to the point of collapse: it is simply unforgivable to leave patients sitting on a wheelchair in the middle of the night in a deserted corridor. And this certainly happens.

But, the major issues - going to a hospital and getting a critical job done - are brilliant: you go to the place ill, you come out better.

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