"Inefficient aftercare"

About: City Hospital campus

(as the patient),

I attended The City Hospital in Nottingham for replacement knee surgery. I was asked to arrive at 07. 15hrs. I live over 30 miles from the hospital so in order to be on time I stayed with my husband at the hospitals own hotel at a cost of £50. The Hotel was adequate and the staff very friendly. I arrived the admission reception at the appointed time to be told I was third on the list for my operation but the patient who was second on the list could not arrive until after 12. 30pm. One would have therefore imagined that this would put me in second place. No so. I had all the necessary tests etc. and by 8. 30am was ready. My husband and I waited and waited and eventually he enquired as to what time I was likely to have my operation. We were then told that people were not always taken in order. After waiting even longer we managed to learn that the equipment that was required for my operation was at the Queens University hospital and was on its way. Yet more waiting and again after enquiring further I was told the wrong equipment had been sent and a taxi had been dispatched to collect the correct one. Eventually at around 14. 35pm I was called to go through for surgery.

Questions at this point must be: -

Having known for some time that my operation was scheduled on that day why was any equipment needed not at the correct hospital?

Why did I waste £50 for my husbands accommodation in order to arrive at the admissions lounge on time at 7. 15am when nothing happened until around 2. 30pm?

At this point I must state that the friendliness and professionalism of the staff was excellent and of course the anaesthetist and the surgeon were second to none. However no information was forthcoming and it fell to my husband to extract information from staff as to what was going on. No one came to explain anything or to update me. At a time of great anxiety a wait of over seven hours is not what I needed.

Operation over I was taken to the Surgical Short stay ward where I was looked after very well for the next two days. As it was a weekend this short stay ward closed and I was transferred to Edward 2 ward. The difference in the two wards was like chalk and cheese. To some of the staff it seemed to me as if I have become invisible as even small requests from me were greeted with a polite acknowledgement and then nothing happened and I was forgotten about. Sleep was practically impossible due to one of the patients screaming all night. I sign on the wall read, "Sleep is important Eye masks and ear plugs are available" Due to the noise at night I asked for some ear plugs. This request was answered instantly with the words. 'We have run out' and that was the end of it.

At last came the day of discharge, I asked when everything would be ready so I could phone my husband to let him know what time to arrive to collect me. When I told the nurse that I lived over an hour away she told me that everything would be ready for me by the time my husband arrived. You've guest it, that didn't happen either. When my husband arrived to collect me the drugs I needed to take home were no where to be seen. I can't actually remember how many time I asked someone to get them for me but a further wait was on the cards yet again. Eventually I was given a carrier bag containing tablets and injections but was not given any instruction regarding what to take and when. More importantly I was not given a 'sharps container' for the used syringes and needles. I was wheeled to the car by a nurse who wished that my husband had parked nearer and was offered a fond farewell. I felt just like another unit had been processed and dispatched. I am please to be home.

The conclusion to my story is that the medical care is excellent and professional, the aftercare however is inefficient and leaves a lot to be desired.

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Response from Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

Thank you getting in touch. I’m sorry that some aspects of your care were not to the standard they should have been. I would like to look into your concerns with the ward team on Edward 2. If you wish to discuss any of your concerns with me personally, you can contact me at sharon.saunders@nuh.nhs.uk or on 0115 969 1169 ext 55673.

Kind regards,

Sharon Saunders

Matron, Elective Orthopaedics.