"My stay was unnecessarily stressful"

About: The Whittington Hospital / General surgery

(as the patient),

Checked in as day case at 7am for surgery after advice from consultant to have appendix removed. Waited nine and a half hours, until finally called for operation. (Phoned hospital day before to check on what happens to valuables while under general anaesthetic. Told there would be a locker. Wrong. Valuables left unattended. Finally brought to me post-op via friend of a nurse in recovery! Luckily, nothing missing).

Hour-plus in recovery waiting for a porter. Ultimately, poor nurses pushed bed up to ward. By then, too late to get any food. Hungry! Very dehydrated. Just some tea and biscuits brought by friend who sneaked into kitchen. Canteen shut. Friend evicted as visitor. But I was kept awake til very late by interpreter and patient in next bed talking into the night.

Night-duty nurse took my blood pressure once. Other patients more often. Temperature only when I asked if that might be a good idea as I thought it was routine post op.

Doctor who operated in me never spoke to me before or after op. A registrar who wasn't at the op saw me next day, said she shared visiting duties with the registrar who had been assisting at my op.

Patient with interpreter had flow of visitors from 11am (visiting hours start at 2pm). She was popular. They dutifully changed in shifts of two throughout the next three hours. My one visitor who arrived at 1. 30pm was stopped by staff nurse from entering on basis he was too early to visit!

Junior doctor took three attempts to place a cannula in a vein after one in other hand placed other day fell out in order to administer intravenous antibiotics that should have been given the night before.

Nurses disagreed about how to care for wound sites and about whether I had been given dissolvable sutures or merely steri-strips. Couldn't wait to escape.

Chaotic care, unnecessarily stressful. Made a routine procedure a very negative experience.

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Response from The Whittington Hospital

Sorry to hear you had a negative experience. Our patient advice and liaison service (PALS) is available if you would like to discuss this further with one of the team. You can contact them on 020 7288 5551 or whh-tr.whitthealthPALS@nhs.net.

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