About: Royal Preston Hospital

We arrived late at night, 11pm, and found it difficult in the dark to locate the ward we had been referred to.With a boy in pain and scarcely able to walk, locating the correct entrance, parking close by and then hoping we were heading in the right direction down seeming endless corridors was difficult. Eventually we made Ward 8 somewhat tired and stressed. At Ward 8 we gave details to a nurse who was expecting us and directed us to a triage bed for Gabriel and adjacent seat for me, his carer. We waited uncertain of when or what would happen until 3am before a doctor was available to see us. Even though we were treated sympathetically and courteously this was a difficult period with Gabriel periodically convulsed with pain. Blood tests were taken and a canula inserted with great care and skill. Obviously these procedures were to address a range of possibilities which I could only guess at. No further information would be known until the blood test results in '1-2hours'. Things improved an hour or so later when a member of the surgical team arrived and examined Gabriel and fully explained her the situation, her conclusions and proposed actions. She fully engaged with us and it was really a relief to have some certainty and a plan of action, even though as she explained it was not 100% certain to be appendicitis, that was her opinion, as was the need for prompt action. Gabriel was to go for surgery in the next hour or so. From then on Ward 8 was quite excellent. Friendly, flexible, professional and considerate; applied to all the staff we encountered. Gabriel was looked after so well that he quite reluctant to come home. Conclusion: Most of this review is 'what was difficult'. Some of the initial difficulties for a stranger in the dark in locating, parking close enough and transporting a patient in pain to the correct ward need to be reviewed. Staff in the 'early hours' are understandably thin on the ground and no certain action can be decided until after consultation and tests. However sitting in a chair hour by hour through the night with a child in pain uncertain of what is to happen is frustrating and stressful. It would be better to be informed of potential delays, uncertainties and processes involved than literally left in the dark. This not only helps relationships at hospital but also keeps worried parents at home in the picture. However our enduring impression is of a caring, professional, and flexible organisation. Without exception Ward 8 staff are happy to help and quite excellent in their care of young patients. As parents we felt welcome and not as tolerated intruders. Thank you.

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Response from Rhona Hartley, Head of Patient Experience and Customer Care, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback and for the very kind and generous comments you made about staff on Ward 8. Please be assured that your feedback has been shared with the staff in that area.

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Response from Royal Preston Hospital

Thank you for telling us of your experience when you recently attended Ward 8 with your son, Gabriel. Please be assured that your feedback has been shared with managers and staff in the Child Health Directorate.

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