"I had a total knee replacement ..."

About: Southmead Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

I had a total knee replacement on 10 January. The skill and care of the surgeons team and nurses was exemplary. After the operation I was taken to Kennet ward for the first night which was great as I was in a lot of pain.

What could be improved

After the operation I spent a night in Kennet Ward, but I was then taken to Severn Ward. The bag I had taken with me had not been unpacked prior to the operation; when I asked for help with this I was told that my husband could do it when he came in. My husband does not drive and is dependent on public transport to visit. He arrived late and did unpack for me: this meant I could not reach the articles I’d needed earlier in the day. Would it be possible for a volunteer to be allocated to help patients with unpacking especially if the operation means that the patient cannot get out of bed? I believe that in the USA such volunteers are the normality, and called “candystripers”

I stood out of bed for a short time the day after the operation, and the next day I made tentative steps with a Zimmer frame, although the pain was still quite severe and the appropriate medication had not been calculated. The following day I was told I was being discharged; I had to contact the friend who was going to collect me. He was unable to come to the Hospital until 5pm. But at 1pm my bed was taken to collect a new patient, and I was put in the day room with my belongings. I felt abandoned, quite upset and very emotional as I felt I could go nowhere; not even to the toilet. One nurse - did come and bring me my medication to take home, and a cup of tea, mid afternoon. I was very grateful for this (the only) contact. When they had gone I realised that I had not been given an exercise sheet and needed to ask for one so I put my bags under the seats and went back into the ward. As I arrived at the nurses’ station I saw another patient being discharged accompanied by a nurse and in a wheelchair. This distressed me even more. I understand the pressure on wards for beds but would it not be possible to provide a volunteer from WRVS or similar to just keep in touch with patients who are not very mobile and who have to wait for such a long time with their belongings in the Day Room?

Story from NHS Choices

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