"1) I was in a surgical ward. Capacity, ..."

About: William Harvey Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

1) I was in a surgical ward. Capacity, equipment and facilities provision was really very good.

2) Some nurses and doctors (local and immigrant) were still of classic 1960s quality /dedication plus better communicating and patient respecting I was relieved to find.

3) For those in the middle geographically, Ashford is better than Margate in our family’s history.

4) Surgical process is confidence inspiring.

What could be improved

In no order.

A) The staff are of very variable quality. Strong advice……………..

1) Identify the good ones and focus on them. That means others will get the worse staff, but it is a survival of the fittest in the NHS these days. There is no feedback on individual staff members so chances of improvement are not good.

2) If you are stuck with a surgeon who tells you little for whatever reason, talk to another, probably more junior, members of the same surgical team: eg more than one is present at your operation.

3) Staff seem in general not to be capable of feeling what it is like to be in your shoes. Expect to have to be proactive in asking how equipment works, what post-operative symptoms you will have, how best to do certain manoeuvres etc.

4) Staff make mistakes. I noted about 7 in two days (two serious). Follow what is going on and if you think something is not being done that should be you or your ward / yourself, ask it to be done

B) The service from the pharmacy is worse than in a developing country. A Falklands veteran with a complication of his war wound waited five hours for his drugs despite all other paper work being ready (par for the course he said). Staff say it is an endemic problem. They hold extensive anti-biotic supplies in the wards because of the problems . If you can, find out what drugs you need to take home and if they are not on ward, ask them to order the drugs the day before you are likely to be discharged. Ditto your discharge papers. Please note that it is hospital policy in effect to value your time and that of lift driver at zero.

C) The food was really horrible. Baked cheese potatoes was the worse dish I have had for years. Could not eat it (how can they mess up such a simple dish). I was surprised. Stick to the sandwiches / get relatives to bring back-up food?. How come the food in the café is good and that served to patients poor???????

Anything else?


D) The toilets should be cleaned more than once a day, especially in a surgical ward where many patients cannot clear-up after them. Ask then to be cleaned if they are dirty.

E) They should not include people in surveys when they have just arrived. This is false statistics


Anything Else

Wireless reception varies. It is partial for all networks. In my ward O2 was superb and Orange rubbish.

PS If anyone thinks they might have appendicitis, do not worry about bothering NHS staff. Talk to in hours or out of hours doctor ASAP (not NHS Direct) or complications will set in.

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