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"A traumatic event was turned into a relatively..."

About: New Cross Hospital

What I liked

I was admitted to the Heart and Lung Centre for an operation to replace a bicupsid aortic valve together with a section of the ascending aorta which was dilated. I was admitted on the day prior to my operation where I was met my the consultant who explained in great detail exactly what he would be doing. I was then shown to an extremely clean 'bay' which contained three other patients who had already had their surgery. The nursing staff ensured that I knew where everything was and that I had the necessary preliminary items (such as tooth gel, shower gel, etc.) and that I was aware of the procedure that I needed to follow. Prior to the operation I was given a pre-med which was strong enough to send me to sleep so that I have no recollection of being given an anaesthetic at all.

Following the procedure I spent 24 hours in intensive care after which I was moved to a bay in the general ward area although I have no recollection of this. During my stay in the general ward I was monitored constantly for the first two days after which a nurse took routine checks every four hours or so. I received regular visits from 'volunteers' from the WCASG (Wolverhampton Coronary Aftercare Support Group) who would chat about the procedure that I had undergone and made sure that I had regular cups of tea.

Meals were always on the basis of menu choice and were delivered promptly and were always piping hot. The ward area was always kept spotlessly clean and the bed clothes were changed on a very regular basis. Nursing staff were always available if I needed anything.

What could be improved

In terms of medical care I can think of nothing that could have been improved based on my own experience. However, one minor observation was that the beds, although very high specification, seemed to be designed for persons of average height and since I am 6 feet I did find them somewhat cramped at times. The overall environment was pleasant and posed no particular difficulties for patients in performing normal activities. The shower areas were even equipped with suitable seating to help people who were unable to stand for longer periods.

Anything else?

Overall I felt that the Heart and Lung Centre was an establishment of which New Cross Hospital can be justifiably proud and I would have absolutely no reservation in recommending it to anyone needing cardiothoracic surgery.

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