"Following diagnosis of Prostate ..."

About: The James Cook University Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

Following diagnosis of Prostate Cancer last summer I underwent the full range of tests and finally elective surgery for a Radical Prostatectomy, being a patient on Ward 5. Although the various departments (Ultrasound, MRI, Bone scan, X-Rays etc) were invariably busy, I was always treated as an individual and each stage was well explained and professionally carried out. I found the staff of Ward 5 in particular to be tolerant, understanding and sympathetic. I was treated with consideration and respect throughout, and found the staff to be attentive, thorough and capable. I consider the standard of care and their bedside manner to be first class and this is fully endorsed by my partner who has 25 years nursing experience. Throughout all this the staff were invariably cheerful and retained their sense of humour during even the most testing and sometimes unpleasant times. I am pleased to say that I have made a full recovery from surgery although I am still undergoing monitoring tests. I have been most impressed with the service provided by the hospital and the Urology department in particular.

What could be improved

I did find it odd, not to say contradictory to find the front entrance of the hospital - a place of healing - surrounded by people smoking (even one patient propelling a drip stand!) Is there any way of providing an alternative venue for those unable to break the habit?

Story from NHS Choices

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


Response from The James Cook University Hospital

Dear Mr Young

Thank you for your comments posted onto the NHS Choices website. I am extremely pleased to read that you have endured a positive experience whilst an inpatient on Ward 5. These have been shared with the Management Team for Urology.

The Trust is continuously striving to ensure the hospital is a non smoking site and a place of healing. There have been a number of campaigns working in conjunction with the Primary Care Trusts to help patients and staff to stop smoking. This has included employing smoking cessation nurses to work with patients and their relatives to help them stop smoking. Recently, the hospital has erected a number of speaking machines to deter visitors/patients from smoking outside the various entrances of the hospital that has had positive impact, especially at our Maternity entrance.

The Trust’s Director of Nursing and Patient Safety is the lead for smoking cessation initiatives across the Trust and is currently reviewing the signage that will be increased at every entrance to encourage patients and members of the public to refrain from smoking nearby to patient and public access points.

Research on “smoking shelters” has shown that these do not work well, use more public money with little added value and with a site as large as The James Cook University Hospital, many members of the public would not be prepared to walk long distances to the shelters, therefore, multiple shelters would need to erected increasing the cost further.

This is a long term health promotional issue for society. We are making headway across Teesside seeing numbers of smokers reduce, however, we know we have a long way to go.

We are very grateful for your views and please be assured we are not being complacent on this matter.