"Broken Hip"

About: Southampton General Hospital

The treatment I received at the orthopaedic department for a broken hip was first class. The surgery options were clearly presented and the operation was timely: arrived at about 10am and operated on before 7pm. Not bad for a very busy department.

The medical treatment is of course the most important thing but there were some aspects of my visit that could have been improved to make the whole experience less traumatic.

While recovering in a single room after the operation I got the impression of disorder and confusion among the staff. For example, it would take up to 20 minutes to respond to a call for assistance made by pressing the button provided. One does feel vulnerable when you're in bed and unable to move so it's important to be able to get a drink of water in a timely manner when you're thirsty.

Occasionally, I'd ask for something such as some more water bottles to urinate in and someone would arrive and say they'd fetch them, but they'd not return and I'd have to ask someone else. One time I'd stopped mid-stream, having used the two bottles I had, and it took a full half-hour to get some new ones. That's a lot of holding onto the bladder!

We had enormous difficulty finding a wheelchair when it was time to leave and nobody told me that I also needed some medication until I received a phone call when I arrived home. My wife had to return to pick up the medication.

By far the biggest problem is the lack of public WiFi. One can get it almost anywhere else these days, so why not in a hospital when people have the most need of it to stay in contact with friends and relatives, and other business they need to stay on top of. I was willing to pay for it, but it was still not possible. The excuse of a bedside “service” that claims to have internet access is a complete joke. It's only good for simple emails, and even using it for that is a real pain. Their customer service employee was in complete agreement with me on this lamentable state of affairs.

Nowadays, it's bordering on and infringement of human rights to cut people off like that. Who does not use the internet these days? Please get this sorted out before someone takes legal action on this point.

However, I don't like to end on a negative. So many thanks for the excellent medical help and sorting me out promptly. It is really appreciated!

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Southampton General Hospital

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your experience with is. The clinical teams appreciate learning about how the service was for you. I am sorry that there were aspects of your stay where we could have improved and that the IT (lack of) caused you some frustration. I have forwarded your observations and comment to the head of patient experience for consideration. I am pleased to confirm that the Trust acknowledges that there is a need to enable patients to have wireless access and work is ongoing on to achieve this.

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