"gastroscopy, colonoscopy, endoscopy"

About: Queen Margaret Hospital / Endoscopy

(as the patient),

I had been referred for upper and lower endoscopy by my GP because I have low iron levels. This was my first experience of being a hospital outpatient and I was anxious about the procedure and what might be found.

On arrival at the endoscopy department at Dunfermline Queen Margaret Hospital, I was met by a very friendly and reassuring nursing team who carefully went through consent process and made sure I understood the procedure, the risks and the benefits. I was then provided with shorts and gown and shown to a private area to change. Within a few minutes I was then shown to the procedure room and introduced to CNS Lynn who would be carrying out the procedure. Lynn explained the process, upper first then lower, what to expect and tips to make the procedure more comfortable. Lynn was very professional and reassuring and I quickly started to relax and feel less anxious.

During the upper, Lynn gave me an anaesthetic spray for the back of my throat, a mouthguard and then introduced the scope into my mouth. I'm not sure how she did it (other than just sheer skill), but she passed the scope down my throat and on into my stomach without me feeling the need to gag at all. This is the bit I'd been most anxious about but it just felt mildly strange. The nursing team also talked to me throughout to continue to reassure me. In what seems like less than 5 minutes, the scope was out. I honestly didn't feel uncomfortable at any point.

Next up was the colonoscopy. Again Lynn explained what she would be doing and what to expect. The nursing team provided Entonox and showed me how to use it if I needed it. After a quick digital inspection, the scope was introduced. I was able to watch the incredible pictures on the monitor throughout. As the scope passed through the colon, there are several bends that have to be negotiated and for this I had to change positions to help manoeuvre the scope. At these points the scope could be felt and I took a couple of breaths on the entonox, but it wasn't painful or really that uncomfortable. After about 30- 40 minutes the procedure was over.

Lynn explained the results to me and I was then taken to recovery to get dressed. A lovely nurse did a few final checks to make sure all was well and then kindly made me a cup of tea and provided a sandwich (which was great and very welcome). Then that was it. As I didn't have any sedation I could go straight away.

My experience highlighted just how excellent, professional and caring our NHS staff are and how we often just take this for granted. I couldn't have asked for, or expected, a better experience from start to finish. The unit was spotlessly clean, modern and well organised and the team were outstanding in the caring an professional way they looked after me.

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Response from Arlene Saunderson, Head of Nursing, Planned care, Planned Care, NHS Fife

picture of Arlene Saunderson

Dear Finn32,

Thank you for sharing your experience and for taking the time to give us such a lot of useful positive feedback. It was your first hospital experience and I can appreciate that this must have been quite daunting for you, I am delighted that you were very happy about the standard of care.

Today, I was working in Endoscopy myself and took the opportunity to read your post alongside Lynn, she immediately remembered you and was thrilled to receive this feedback.

Taking the throat spray option and entonox results in a quicker recovery and I am pleased you were happy with the outcome this provided.

It is so important that all the staff involve the patient and keep them fully informed, and your feedback certainly demonstrates throughout your patient journey they got this right for you.

I will ensure your story is shared with the rest of the team, thanks again.

Regards Arlene

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