"Room '32', an unacceptable delay and a lack of..."

About: Spire Liverpool Hospital

I checked in at reception at 12 noon on the day of my procedure having not eaten since 7am or drunk since 10.30am as instructed. I was finally taken down to theatre at 7pm! Information throughout the day during my 7 hour wait alone in my room was minimal and vague. When I'd asked the anaesthetist earlier on in the day if they knew approximately where I was in the running order I was told that it hadn't been sorted at that stage. I don't accept that either they or the consultant did not know at that point the rough timings for the day's lists and rightly suspected that his reluctance to tell me meant I was near the bottom (as an NHS referral I should have expected no less). I believe openness and honesty, even if that meant telling me not to expect to go to theatre before 5pm, would have allowed me to mentally prepare myself better rather than being unable to settle all day wondering when my turn would come.

My doubts about the integrity of the information I was being told were only increased by the conflicting accounts given by members of staff as to the reasons for my prolonged wait. The procedure in itself took around 10 minutes and I was waking up in Recovery at 7.45pm having been anaesthetised at 7.15pm. I gratefully acknowledge that I was well looked after at this specific stage. However, the lack of openness and differentiation of treatment based on who was paying resurfaced shortly afterwards. I was kept in Recovery for longer than expected as 'the ward wasn't ready for me'. When the Porter came to collect me and was advised that I was in Room 32 they replied "Well that's funny because they only go up to 31". On route another member of staff stopped the trolley and pointedly told the Porter and Recovery Nurse "Room 32" with a look that could only be described as 'knowing'. Despite being slightly groggy I didn't fail to notice the handwritten '32' scrawled on a piece of paper and cellotaped to the door of a room which at best could be described as basic and certainly had none of the facilities (toilet or tv) that my day room had had.

To add insult to injury incorrect belongings had been brought to the room and I didn't get the promised light meal until gone 10pm and even then only after pointing out that it had failed to materialise. I was allowed to walk unaided to the nearest toilet (a staff one, which reinforces my belief that rooms 1-31 must be en suite and room 32 was a broom cupboard!) and when using the phone in the office to ask a family member to collect me noticed that there wasn't even room in the grid on the whiteboard for my name, I was scrawled on at the top like an afterthought. Whilst I acknowledge that in general each member of staff was pleasant enough, I felt the general lack of honesty, the unacceptable waiting time and the second class treatment once back on a ward made an already emotionally draining day that much worse. I await the bog standard copy and paste response to this review like all the others!

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Response from Spire Liverpool Hospital

We are very sorry to hear that you feel you have not received the high standard of service we always aim to deliver.

As a team we work hard to ensure that all patients have a highly focused course of treatment that is tailored to suit the patient's individual needs, and can guarantee that any decision made regarding a patients stay is based exclusively on clinical need.

We have a thorough process for considering any complaint we receive and look upon it as an opportunity to identify how we might improve our service, and on this occasion we feel that poor communication has impacted on delivery of service to a valued patient and we profusely apologise for this.

Listening to and acting on feedback is important to us, therefore if you would like to discuss your experience further please do not hesitate to contact me on telephone 0151 733 7123.

I hope to hear from you soon.

Kind regards

Sandra Flynn


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