"I was so very appreciative of what they do, day in day out"

About: Queen Margaret Hospital / Endoscopy Victoria Hospital / Gastroenterology

(as the patient),

As in the last 3 times since I turned 50, I received my "pack" from the Bowel Screening programme, which I have to admit, although received around end of April, I didn't send it back until about 3 weeks later. I got a letter then saying there were "tiny traces" of blood in the samples, which required a follow up sample, which I did straight away, and sent back just before my wife and I went on holiday, still not being overly concerned. On our return on there was mail, again from Bowel Screening to say there were still traces shown, and I would receive a letter suggesting a meeting with a Specialist Nurse at Victoria, Kirkcaldy, with a Colonoscopy to follow, which was actually also there is the post received while we were away. I attended the "fact find" where the procedures and possible outcomes were fully explained by Helena there.

This date was arranged at Queen Margaret, Dunfermline for the Colonoscopy, and was carried out by Dr Wilson, who was a lovely man, but he regrettably had to advise me that he had found a tumour towards the rectum end of the bowel, which he suspected was malignant. He was very calming and explained next steps, and very kindly left me his mob number if I wanted to call him any time. He confirmed a few days later that the biopsy was indeed positive, which is never news you want to hear, but again, he re-assured me that he believed it was relatively early. He also explained that a CT and MRI scan would be arranged, and these were done, and thankfully showed that there was no further spread of the Cancer.

So, all behind the scenes various very talented and amazing people were co-ordinating everything, and my date for an Operation described as " Curative Anterior Resection" was arranged less than 5 weeks from the Colonoscopy, which I considered to be fantastically quick, although not something I was looking forward to.

I attended Victoria, Kirkcaldy on the due date and time, having taken my pre op "Moviprep" the day before, and nervously got ready for an experience I had never endured before. I, and my wife, met with my Consultant, Dr Stephen Boyce the week before, and he fully explained what he was looking to do, and immediately put us at ease by saying his intention was to be "curative". He showed what was to be involved and the outside chance of a Stoma, which at that point, he didn't expect to have to do. We then also met Maureen, Lead Colorectal Nurse, who was so friendly and assuring, which again helped.

So... I went into theatre, my life in the hands of Dr Boyce, and my wife waited anxiously, anticipating that I would be out within 4/5 hours. However, due to a complication in the tumour being slighly lower than orginally anticipated, Dr Boyce had to also perform a Stoma, after removing the tumour and what he considered to be the affected part of the bowel, which I knew nothing about of course, but had consented to should that situation arise. I was in theatre for around 9 hours, but my wife had been advised of this, and eventually got a call from Dr Boyce himself to say I was in Recovery, and that he would be with her shortly to explain the situation and what the complication had been, but not to worry.

I came round, grogilly, still unaware of the Stoma, but happy to see my wife and 2 daughters, who by then were there also.

It wasn't really until the next day that everything became clearer to me, and the implications as a result of the Stoma situation, but there was so much support from the Colerectal Nursing staff, Stoma Nurses and Dr Boyce himself, that everything was clearly explained to me, and it was anticipated that this would be temporary until the bowel join could be confirmed as effective and successful.

I was then transferred up to Ward 53, in a private room, where I was looked after by some truly wonderful Nurses and Students, whose humanity left me feeling very humble, and so very appreciative of what they do, day in day out.

In short, whatever these lovely people, from Dr Boyce, to Colerectal/ Stoma Nurses/ Ward Nurses get paid...it should be trebled in my view.

I was very low on the Friday, 2 days after the op, but I was picked up every day and I never imagined I would be back home only a week after that long operation, but I was!

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Response from Gillian Ogden, Clinical Nurse Manager, Planned Care, NHS Fife

picture of Gillian Ogden

Dear K Dawg

Thank you so much for your post, I felt really humbled reading your account of your recent experience.

I am grateful that you have given feedback about the bowel screening service, your story has highlighted how important it is to take part in the bowel screening programme. Helena and her team do a great job preparing patients for their colonoscopy and explaining the next steps. I can't begin to imagine how you and your family must have felt when Dr Wilson gave you the news that you had a rectal tumour. It was good to read that you were given all the information that you needed at that time and the added support of contacting Dr Wilson directly if you had to. I am sure that Mr Boyce, Maureen and the colorectal nursing team, Stoma nurses and the staff in Ward 53 will be extremely grateful for your lovely feedback about the next stages of your care. I am sorry that you did need to have a stoma but it was heartening to learn that you, your wife and daughters were kept well informed and reassured about the need for this by Mr Boyce and his team.

Our Chief Operating Officer, Professor McLean, has already shared your post with all the staff involved in your care and has given his thanks to the teams also. This is a fantastic testimony to our staff and we are all grateful that you have taken the time to do this.

I hope that you are recovering well following your surgery.

Kind regards

Gill Ogden

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