"recent admission of relative with serious..."

About: Stoke Mandeville Hospital

Its hard to give an overall rating as parts of our experience were excellent; other parts could be improved. My husband had a serious set of symptoms and a serious underlying condition, After nearly 2 weeks in hospital he was well enough to return home and get on with life (the serious underlying cancer ongoing) We experienced A& E; an assessment ward, next ward 17, then ICU (for over a week) and then ward 7 for 2 nights before discharge. The overall result; to return home after very serious problems was an excellent outcome, so it might seem petty to criticise, but perhaps these comments might help others. The worst bit of our hospital experience was A & E. Despite an emergency home visit from our GP first thing that day, who was sufficiently concerned by the presenting symptoms to send us straight to the hospital with a letter which was meant to bypass queues, we ended up having to be triaged as if we had just walked in ourselves off the street, and had to wait 2 hours before admission to the assessment ward where tests began. The A& E at Stoke Mandeville is cramped and does not appear designed for the numbers who use it now Wycombe A & E has closed. The toilet opening off the main waiting area needs better extract ventilation. Reception staff have to access notes via an unbelievable bank of tatty looking cardboard files collapsing on one another behind the desk area, Staff, especially in ITU, were very helpful, kind, pleasant, despite being under pressure, and happy to explain things, if asked. However, without asking, you would often not know why things were happening. And many people, my husband included, would often not ask because they were unwell or intimidated by their surroundings. My husband was so unwell that he couldn't remember things, We used a small notebook to jot down day by day events/advice ; without this we would have emerged with little sense of what happened, Especially in ITU, where it is difficult to distinguish day.night! No-one expects hospital food to be great but the 'ready meals' style main courses were often hardly appetizing, and not conducive to recovery/rebuilding strength. Luckily we discovered the RVS cafe half way through our stay (I say 'our' stay as family more or less were constantly at the hospital) A general point about medical note taking on admission: my husband was asked over & over by different doctors about his symptoms on admission, He was quite unwell at the time, and was unable to do this consistently. Surely a method could be devised using some sort of ap that could provide a summary , so that information is accumulated (recorded diagrammatically?) and does not have to be repeated, which is exasperating for someone feeling very unwell. Overall we would like to thank the hospital for excellent care in ITU which has allowed a happy outcome,

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Response from Anthony Banton, Patient Experience Manager, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear Responder

I am sorry to learn that your experience has resulted in you not being totally satisfied. Please contact me on my direct telephone number-01494734481 to discuss your experience and how I may be able to help to improve the situation.

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