"Poor pre-assessment experience"

About: Wansbeck Hospital

I attended my pre-op assessment yesterday at Wansbeck and left feeling much worse about my upcoming surgery than I did when I went in. Although the staff were pleasant enough I wasn't asked if I had any questions, and those that I did manage to ask were not answered satisfactorily.

I am having a pelvic osteotomy which will mean I am only able to put minimal weight through my leg for 6 weeks, and obviously moving will be difficult with a broken pelvis! I asked about Occupational Therapy equipment and was told that the OT would see me on the ward, but I wouldn't need any equipment as I 'wasn't having a total hip replacement so I won't have restrictions on my movement'. They also said I'd 'manage but it might be a bit uncomfortable'. I live on my own! My friend had the same surgery at Wansbeck but pre-assessment at Hexham - she saw an OT and had all equipment delivered pre-op. Why the discrepancy in service?

I also had questions about pain relief, and the Pharmacy Technician made a note that I would like to speak to someone, but I don't know if this will be pre or post op. My main worries are around painkillers and these have not been allayed.

I stood outside the hospital and cried after my appointment - it seemed like everything that needed doing from the hospital's perspective got done, and my questions and concerns were inconsequential. Hugely disappointed and now very anxious about whay awaits me as an inpatient.

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Response from Wansbeck Hospital

Dear anonymous

A pre-op assessment should be an opportunity to have any questions answered and allay any concerns you may have. I’m so sorry that this appointment left you upset and anxious. We would very much like to talk to you so we can put this right. It is very important to us that you come into hospital feeling as reassured and comfortable as you possibly can be about your surgery. As I don’t have your details please can you call the Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 0800 032 0202 at your earliest opportunity – they will work with us to ensure that we can resolve this for you.

With best wishes

Claire Riley, director of communications and corporate affairs

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