"A not very patient-friendly hospital"

About: University College Hospital

I was admitted to the hospital last week for a hysterectomy. I'd made it quite clear before hand that I wanted my procedure to be conducted by a consultant. I was told who my consultant would be, but I never met them, not once! On the day of my operation I was met by the same Dr I'd seen earlier so I reiterated my wish for a consultant-led procedure. Thankfully, during the course of our conversation a Consultant entered the room and I was immediately reassured when they asked me directly what I was hoping to achieve as a result of the operation. They understood my desire to have my ovaries left in place and advised me of the potential risks and benefits associated with my decision. We agreed that my ovaries would only be remove if there was a genuine medical need. Following the Op I am pleased to have retained my ovaries. Although, I'm not sure whether it was a consultant-led procedure because my paperwork indicates otherwise!! The recovery process has been tough, made all the more worse by the inconsistent level of care I received on the ward. I arrived on the ward at maybe just after 9pm desperate for a hot drink having fasted for over 36 hrs in preparation for my Op. I was told that I could only have a sandwich and water as the kitchen was closed. The pre-packed cheese and tomato sandwich was horrible,I took one bite and continued on with my fasting. In the early hours of the morning I woke feeling terribly unwell, short of breath and feeling as though I was about to pass out. I rang the buzzer for the nurse but I got an assistant who simply gave me a bowl to 'vomit'. The the nurse did arrive some minutes later but they'd failed to realise that my oxygen tube had fallen off, hence the breathing difficulty. Thankfully, I recovered sufficiently to realize and connect the tube myself. I later became more distressed when I requested assistance with getting out of my soiled bedding and gown. I was told by the Nursing Assistant that there was no one available as they were 'feeding' other sick patients! I too was sick! I was left on soiled bedding and clothes for some 4 hours until a nice nurse came and disconnected the IV drip so that I could go to the bathroom. When I returned they had also changed my bedding. It doesn't seem like much but I remember bursting into tears having felt so grateful. My surgeon seemed nice enough but I don't think they understood the impact that the surgery had on me. I felt as though I was being rushed off home even though I hadn't even had by bladder tests etc. Thankfully the consultant came to see me afterwards and explained that I didn't have to go home that day; they could see that I was in a state so they asked another doctor to check up on me later on as well. I remember bursting into tears all over again feeling so grateful for their human approach to my situation. I am now recovering at home still unsure about the key hole dressings but I'll see my GP about that today. Phew!

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Response from University College Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to feed back to us. We are very sorry to hear about your recent experience of being an inpatient at UCLH. We would be grateful if you could contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) via pals@uclh.nhs.uk or by calling 020 3447 3042 so that we can look into this.

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