"Good care, but a long and tiring admission process"

About: Southampton General Hospital / General surgery

(as the patient),

I recently had an operation at another hospital within the Southampton area. However, last Thursday I found myself unexpectedly in A&E less than a week after my procedure.

I arrived at in A&E at around 5:40pm. I checked in and was seen my a triage nurse within ten minutes (top marks!). I then had to wait 2 hours to be called through to a cubicle, and a further 1 hour to even see a doctor. The doctor I saw was very professional and had a brilliant bedside manner. However this is where my experience begins to go downhill.

The doctor had requested a nurse to take bloods and insert a cannula into my arm. One nurse did come about 10 minutes later and attempted to, but was unable to draw blood from a vein. He left and said he'll"be right back" but 35 minutes later he was nowhere to be seen. Another nurse came in and asked to fit a cannula when I informed her I hadn't had any bloods taken yet. However she dealt with it quickly and efficiently and did these herself with success! (Top marks for her too! ) At around 9pm said nurse took me up to an assessment bay on F level.

It was here where I wasn't even acknowledged until around 11pm. It was a very long and tiring process where I was seen (eventually) by 2 different doctors who required even more bloods (which 2 different nurses failed to draw.. I'd been poked with needles 6 times since arriving by this point). This wasn't until 3:30am. By this point I was very upset and emotional. I was young, alone, and petrified of hospitals and needles. I felt very alone and vulnerable and was having an emotional breakdown.

However this is where I would like to praise your HCA's who were on shift that night. They are definitely an asset to your hospital. Purely because they are the reason I was calm that night.

One noticed my distress and did her utmost best to try and console me. Following all this, at 4am after not being allowed to eat or drink (or even sleep) I was found a bed on a ward. At this time I was in a lot of pain from not been given any pain relief, I was tired, and very thirsty.

However, when I got on to a ward the nurse who was looking after me that night was very kind and attentive. She did her best to make me feel at ease and relaxed and made me as comfortable as she could.

Overall, I will say this experience was very mixed, but very important that it happened. I was later discharged on Sunday evening following scans and even more blood tests. They were able to make a diagnosis. I have also been offered a follow up appointment next week which is very quick and efficient.

All that is left for me to say is well done, Southampton General. I know the NHS isn't always perfect but it is always important that we search for the silver lining. I would like to thank everyone who was involved in my care: Doctors; Nurses; HCA's; and even porters. You make the NHS what it is, and you should all be very proud of yourselves.

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