"Colorectal Surgery"

About: Croydon University Hospital

I was admitted in a very efficient manner and was seen the same day by the pain management team, specialist nurse and surgical registrar. I was told of the likely timing and course of events. When my operation was delayed I was informed and reasons provided. The anaesthetics team were very friendly and kept me relaxed prior to the operation.

My two days in HDU following the operation were almost certainly coloured by the after effects of the anaesthetic and pain management drugs. The environment in HDU was strange as there appeared to be no natural daylight and the noise from the machines monitoring our well-being was intrusive making it impossible to sleep and experience the normal routine of day and night. I felt very tired from the operation and a lack of natural sleep. Despite that the nurses were attentive and helped me feel better.

On returning to the ward the surgical and pain teams visited me regularly to check on my progress. The ward nurses seem to move around much of the time with mobile computers, which inevitably meant they paid less attention to us as patients and had less time to talk with me to check to see if they could do anything to make me feel more physically comfortable. When asked for any help, all the nursing staff did respond. The biggest draw back to recovering in the ward once the effects of the anaesthetics and other drugs wore off was the lack of televisions anywhere. This would have helped me recover by providing a good distraction away from my physical condition and make the ward environment less boring, especially as I was in over a weekend and was not well enough to walk around the hospital for a change of environment.

The ‘normal’ experience in hospitals of being woken by nursing staff occurred at differing times of the night when asleep to administer medicines or monitor blood pressure etc., and by other patients did not help my sleep routines and I felt very tired much of the time.

Discharge was only marred by the late arrival of my medicines from pharmacy. I was told the medicines had left pharmacy at 4.15 but did not arrive on the ward until nearly 7.00 pm. As this was my second brush with a life threatening illness it is brilliant that the hospital has a counsellor who I can talk to about recovering from my experience.

In summary the medical and surgical care was great but the experience of the ward environment could be better.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Croydon University Hospital

Dear Phil,

Thank you for taking the time to provide such a detailed report of your experiences of your time with us. We are really pleased to hear that you had such good support from the clinical teams that cared for your and that they were caring and responsive to your needs. We are working hard to introduce improvements to make our patient's experience of care while they are with us more positive, including addressing some of the issues that you describe. While we do our best to ensure that noise at night is minimised as much as possible, we now have earplugs available on request on our wards, to help those patients who find background noise of patients or of equipment intrusive and enable them to sleep more comfortably. We are also in the process of updating our patient wi-fi service, to enable patients to use mobile devices to stream information directly from the web and provide entertainment to them while they are with us. We are also working hard to improve our discharge processes and make sure that our patients who need to take medicines home with them are provided with them earlier in the day, so that they can go home earlier. Thank you once again for your comments and we apologise for the delay in getting back to you.

Yours sincerely,

Croydon Health Services NHS Trust

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