"Unnecessarily stressful, treated like"

About: Southmead Hospital

I am currently sitting in bed in the hospital recovering after an appendectomy. I am in a private room in a brand new clean building, but that's where there good news ends. My case seemed to be the lowest priority out of all the emergency cases, which meant I kept getting bumped down the list, not getting the op until 32 hours after admission, I understand the reasons for the wait as I understand that more urgent cases need to get seen first, however from a patients point of view this is a problem and it did mean I ended up with a burst appendix, (although the shortage of doctors that results in this situation is an issue with the NHS in general) what I do have a problem with at this hospital is the complete lack of communication and inconsistent info on provided to me. At one point it was you'll be seen within an hour which then became we'll try to see you today. No complaint with individual doctors, they were doing their best in a flawed system. The same can't be said for all nursing staff, specifically when at night there staff seems to be entirely agency nurses, who are notably worse than staff. In many occasions I have had to ask for things a number of time s, it takes ages for them to respond to the buzzer. The experience here has made me think I will definitely sign up with bupa rather than the national hell service.

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Response from Southmead Hospital

Dear Phil – I am sorry that your experience Gastrointestinal and Liver services at Southmead Hospital was so poor and that the lack of effective communication compounded this. Whether the nurses are Agency (from the Trust’s own bank of trained staff) or fulltime members of the ward team they should always be responsive and well informed (as ward familiarisation and a handover are always required). It is true that sometimes theatre lists are subject to last minute change, but all patients should be informed within a short time of the situation to allow for their on-going pre-operative care. I am sorry this was not your experience. Your comments will be fed back to the team so they can be aware of the impact their actions/poor communication had.

Thank you for your understanding about how pressures within the acute setting can mean that some patients have, on occasion, to make way for emergency admissions. I regret that the service did not manage to see treat before your own situation became urgent. I hope that you are now well on the road to making a full recovery.

Steve Sykes

Advice and Complaints Team

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