"If I was able to have treatment elsewhere I would have done"

About: Royal Hallamshire Hospital / Neurosurgery

(as the patient),

I attended the Hallamshire for a procedure on a brain tumour with gamma knife surgery. I was asked to attend the hospital at 1pm on one day at the end of march to see the doctors and have the procedure the following day. On arrival at the hospital I was told it should have been 2 pm as staff where on a break and was told to wait in the patients day room. I found the room dirty, with drinks spills on the floor and rubbish piled up in a chair as there was no bin. Another nurse suggested that we could sit in the canteen on D floor which we did. The canteen was dirty with crumbs on most of the tables and chairs and dirty cutlery in the window bottom. The soft furnishings looked dirty and grubby. Back on the ward I did not get to see anyone until 3pm. when I saw a doctor, nurse and consultant . On the following day at 10am when I returned to the ward N2 I was again asked to wait in the patients day room as the room that had been allocated had a sewage problem. Later when shown the room it was very small and I found it claustrophobic so much so that we sat in the lift lobby until 12pm when we had had enough and made our own way to the stereotatic dept.

In the dept I was fitted with a frame to my head as part of the treatment. after having an MRI scan I was then asked to sit a in public area to wait. This caused some distress as people where looking at me due to the frame. later I was moved to a waiting area to wait for ambulance transport to be transferred to Weston Park hospital. When the transport arrived I was escorted to the mini bus through the main hospital doors and past everyone that was smoking. I could feel people looking at me and felt quite uncomfortable like a freak show, having no privacy and dignity. The transport was also dirty and looked as if it had been used by a team of builders prior to picking us up.

At Weston Park hospital we were offered a choice of waiting in the conservatory or on ward 2 . We chose the conservatory which although cold was quiet. Later on a patient from one of the wards came into the conservatory and started smoking stating that her doctor said it would do her no more harm. She was approached by a sister from ward 4 who told her that she shouldn’t smoke as it would set off the fire alarms and to not do it again after she had finished that cigarette. No mention of the fact about the harm to others of passive smoke. At this point we went to wait on ward 2. At the time of my treatment my wife and I where shown the treatment unit and explained to us the procedure. When I was fastened into the machine my wife was told that she had to go out but we had been led to believe by the consultant that she would be able to observe the procedure from the viewing gallery. My wife was very upset by this and sat crying in the waiting room. I felt helpless and unable to do anything as I could not move.

Immediately after treatment I left the hospital instead of staying as we were angry and upset by the events of the days. If I was able to have treatment elsewhere I would have done so but Sheffield is one of only a few places in the uk to offer this treatment and so I felt trapped.

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