"Wonderful nurses, shame about the food"

About: Leicester General Hospital

I spent four nights on Ward 31 after a total abdominal hysterectomy and sacrocolpopexy, I elected to have this surgery but was extremely anxious due to a traumatic hospital stay (different hospital) 34 years ago when I gave birth. I have also been waiting 5 months since referral. I have never had even minor surgery since, avoided doctors and was full of fear and apprehension. The counsellor has helped me a lot, in the lead up to my surgery and I think it's wonderful that a counselling service is available to patients. Overall, the pre and post operative care has completely altered my opinion and feelings about hospital care. My surgeon inspired me with confidence and I felt complete trust (although I was questioning him until the last minute). Staff on ward 11, pre-op were very kind and reassuring, It really helped having visited the ward previously, with the counsellor and knowing what to expect. From the moment I awoke on ward 31 I felt safe and cared for. The kindness, encouragement and gentle humour of the nurses was exactly what I needed to help me recover. I felt I was treated with dignity and respect. I knew exactly what to expect and why they were asking me to do certain things. (The first time they made me get out of bed I just wanted to be left alone to die and expressed this very loudly!! but we were able to laugh about it later.) the bed was really comfortable and the ward had a very jolly atmosphere. It felt like there was the right balance of care and encouragement to be independent. It felt relaxed and friendly and the way the patients helped and supported each other was lovely. The only small negatives were; one inexperienced doctor who needed to put down their file and reassure me when I was in pain and panicking when being asked to walk for the first time, rather than asking me what drugs I needed, Unclear decision- making about my discharge (Saturday deferred to Sunday) and what actually constitutes a bowel movement which my discharge was dependent on. Finally, the food: too much sugar, pork gelatine in the chocolate mousse, inedible shepherds pie, processed cheese, no natural yoghurt. Luckily I had a steady supply of food from family and I'm pleased the rules were relaxed over not eating in bed. Finally just a huge thank you to the nursing staff for making my stay such a positive experience in the most painful of circumstances. I feel I have overcome my worst fears.

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Response from Leicester General Hospital

Dear Michele, Thank you for sharing your recent experience with us - this feedback really helps to shape and improve our services. The team will be delighted to know that during what was a very worrying time for you, their high level of care and professionalism, helped you through your stay with us. We have shared this lovely feedback with the matrons for wadr 11 and ward 31, as well as the head of service for gynaecology. We are disappointed to hear you didn't enjoy the food and have shared your comments with Interserve, the company responsible for patient catering so they can take this feedback on board. If you would like to contact them directly, you can email the Customer Service Centre llr.csc@interserve.com. Wishing you all the best, Laura Mort Communications Officer Leicester's Hospitals

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