"You all made all the difference to us"

About: Queen's Medical Centre / Paediatrics

(as a parent/guardian),

My daughter has autism, learning difficulties and epilepsy but needed to come in for a general anesthetic to allow an MRI scan to be carried out. She gets extremely frightened and anxious in medical settings and even taking her blood pressure is a huge challenge and often impossible. On receiving my appointment letter with the details of her MRI visit I contacted the administrator for the Paediatric Ambulatory Care Unit to outline my worries about how my daughter would cope with such a situation. Within minutes I had a reassuring e-mail back and all the relevant parties had been contacted. Later that same day the anesthetist that would be caring for my child on the day had contacted me and we exchanged e-mails and a phone call before the day to explore all the options until we had a coherent plan. I'm delighted to say that this led to the best and least stressful admission that I could have dreamed of. Her anxiety was minimized, she was successfully anesthetized and we got the scan. Thank you to the administrators, the nurse on ambulatory care that looked after her on the day and to the anesthetist. You all made all the difference to us.

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Response from Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

Thank you for sharing details of your experience. I’m pleased that we were able to reduce anxiety for your daughter (and you) and make the experience the best it could be in the circumstances. Recognising we don’t always get things right, much work is underway across NUH (including in the Nottingham Children’s Hospital) to improve the experience of patients with autism.

I’ve shared your comments with all staff involved in your daughter’s care.

Kind regards,

Rebecca Thurlow.

Ward manager, Ambulatory Care Unit.