"I had a hip replacement in Princes ..."

About: Queen Elizabeth I I Hospital (Welwyn Garden City)

(as the patient),

What I liked

I had a hip replacement in Princes Wing and was in for 10 days, longer than usual because of a fairly common complication. The surgeons, nurses and support staff were all excellent; surgeon and anaesthetist both visited before the procedure and made sure I was happy with what would happen, surgeon visited again post-op. Everyone was very helpful and reassuring during the pre-op and post-op periods, nursing and support staff always on hand, pain-control excellent, even the food was pretty good with plenty of choice and ample fruit and veg. Beds are arranged in small bays, each with its own toilet and shower, and the unit has its own physio unit also staffed by very helpful people. I would recommend this unit highly.

What could be improved

When I needed an X ray a couple of days after surgery I had to be wheeled on a trolley up to A&E, which was OK on the day as it was warm and dry. I don't think I would have enjoyed it if it had been cold and wet. The X ray facility in Princes Wing should be available.

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Response from Queen Elizabeth I I Hospital

Many thanks for your kind comments, which have been passed on already to the team on Princes Wing. Its members know already that they provide a very good and high quality service - but it's always nice to have that confirmed by patients themselves!

We're very aware of the issue that patients can experience being wheeled on a trolley from Princes Wing to the radiology service in the main QEII hospital block. It's a far from satisfactory position, which is being addressed.

From April 2011, the vast majority of day case and short stay planned orthopaedic surgery across the whole Trust will be taking place in a brand new facility being built at the Lister - the Lister Surgicentre. This state-of-the-art facility will not just be modern and high tech, it will eliminate the sort of experience you described in being wheeled to x-ray.

At the same time that the new Surgicentre is being built through our independent sector partners Clinicenta, plans are also well advanced to move all remaining emergency and planned acute hospital services - including orthopaedics - to a much expanded Lister hospital site by the end of 2014.

While all this important development work gets underway, we will, of course, continue to make patients' time at the QEII as comfortable as possible. Sadly moving the x-ray facilities at the hospital is not possible.

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