"Short of beds; post-op patients are on trolleys..."

About: Royal Preston Hospital

I had a laparascopic salingo oophorectomy in the DOSSA unit in February. This followed three months of waiting for my operation with excruciating pain in my right ovary, including a hospital admission for pain relief three weeks ago, so I was not feeling tip-top when I went for my surgery. I have a history of multiple fractures to my neck, spine, pelvis and ribs, so over three hours in a waiting room followed by ten hours on a trolley was agony, quite apart from my surgery. After my operation I was slow to wake up and had difficulty breathing, but after a check-up and an ECG was eventually pronounced fit to go home. ‘You’re discharged; we don’t need to see you again’. I asked when I would hear the result of the biopsy; ‘you’ll get a letter in around three weeks, it may be longer because of the secretaries. You’ll probably hear sooner if it’s cancer, though’. Five days after my operation I am feeling rather worse than I expected to. The anaesthetist cut my mouth and my throat with the metal tube, so it hurts to swallow. After discharge I continued to have episodes struggling to get my breath. The surgeon left a lot of gas inside me, which seems to be finding every fracture and operation scar in my history. My operation appears to have gone as it should; I don’t know what I should be like, I never met my surgeon either before or after my operation, and was not told what to expect. My overall impression of the Gynaecology Unit at the Royal Preston Hospital is that it prefers to keep itself separate from the main hospital; if they don’t have a bed on their own ward then you get sent home. The nurses are angels; they work very hard, they have to, for the amount of work they have to do. Most even find the time to be kind. I am surprised I was not kept in overnight (as I had been told at my pre-op I would), but to say I was glad to get off their trolley and into my bed at home would be an understatement. I am holding my breath until I know my biopsy is clear. Would I recommend this ward to my friends and family? Not on your life, I don’t want to go back there myself.

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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 tell us of your experience and for the very kind comments you made about our nursing staff. I'm sorry to hear that it was not of the standard we would aim to offer all our patients and have taken the liberty of sharing your feedback with the manager for the gynaecology service. If you have not, as yet received your biopy results, can I suggest you contact our PALS team on 01772 522972, who will be able to laisie with the department on your behalf.

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Response from Royal Preston Hospital

Thank you for your feedback and for the kind comments you made about the nursing staff. We were sorry to hear that your overall experience was not as positive as we would aim to provide to all our patients and have shared your comments with the senior staff in the gynaecology department. Can we ask you to please contact our PALS team if you are still waiting for your biopsy results as they will be pleased to liaise with the department on your behalf to ensure they are provided as soon as possible.

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