"After being referred by my GP ..."

About: Northern General Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

After being referred by my GP for double hernia I was seen by a consultant within 6 weeks. My operation came through just over a month later. I was kept fully informed about my treatment at every stage. I was able to speak personally to the consultant's secretary by phone, who was very helpful. I chose the morning time slot for my pre-op and was back at work in the afternoon. I was given a choice of what type of surgery and with which surgeon. When the hospital gave me my first operation date it clashed with my daughter's first day at school; they said no problem and we rearranged it for 3 weeks later (I'm not sure you would get that level of service privately). On the day of the op I was treated with sensitivity and care, even though by general standards I was a routine, low risk case. I was seen by the consultant and anaesthetist who would carry out my operation. These are immensely pressured and busy people, but they still found the time to put me at ease and share a joke or two with me. Although any operation is a not something you would choose to go through; I feel I was given access to the very highest standards of care and professional skill. I was given keyhole surgery to minimize intrusiveness. I was kept in for obs overnight and allowed to go home the next day. I have had to take recovery slowly, but aim to be back at work in a day or two. I am particularly grateful to the Staff Nurse on TAU who kept me calm and talking the whole time from ward to theatre and then being anaesthetised; Internally I was quite scared at this point and she got me through it. I am nearly fully fit now and off the pain killers. I have a follow up booked and then I expect I will be getting on with life as normal. I can't thank the staff at Northern General enough, especially Huntsman's Unit staff.

What could be improved

Very little really. I know it's unavoidable and in a way it gave me time to get my head round things; but I had to be at hospital at 7AM and was not operated on until 2PM. This is a very small wait and I didn't mind, but I can imagine it being a long time for someone older/ younger etc.

Anything else?

I don't wish to overstate the case, but I don't really see how the hospital could have worked any harder to give me a higher level of care. After my operation I was not sleeping brilliantly, so I listened to the radio. My electric bed meant I could get comfy sitting up. My wife was able to call directly to the phone next to my bed. I woke up to free morning TV, a paper delivered to my bed and breakfast of my choice. I realise that this may not be every one's experience of this or any other hospital and for many it is far more traumatic; but what my experience shows is that the Northern General are at least aiming for very high levels of service and patient care, these things don't happen by accident. Thanks to everyone and a special thanks to the magnificently skilled surgeon who operated on me.

Story from NHS Choices

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››