"A excellent experience in a very well-run hospital..."

About: The Heart Hospital

What I liked

My operation was CABG. The whole experience in London was about as good as I could imagine, with one or two temporary exceptions. All of the staff were fantastic, very attentive and communicative. I was kept well informed of my progress, which was rapid and I was discharged pretty much on schedule. The hospital appeared very wall managed and very well organised. I felt that the food was a cut above the general run of hospital food, which was something to look forward to each day.

What could be improved

Prior to the operation my wife and I stayed in the accommodation. It is good that such is provided FOC for this one night, but the standard of the accommodation is woeful. The accommodation is, I am sure, clean, but it is very cramped, especially for two. The mattresses were particularly awful. They had virtually no upholstery, so one was sleeping on a wire grid covered by a sheet! We had a very uncomfortable night and not much sleep.

When I was transferred to Floor 3 from ICU this was done in a great hurry, with no obvious hand-over procedure and for some time I felt as though I had been dumped in a wilderness, not helped initially by the attitude of one of the other occupants. This was rectified after some considerable time, after which I found that the level of care on this ward was actually excellent.

Unfortunately, five days after discharge I was re-admitted to hospital in Reading due to two complications. One was that the skin around the full length of my leg wound developed a Cellulitis infection, which needed IV antibiotic treatment and then cleared very quickly. The other was that my heart went into Atrial Flutter, with unpleasant palpitations, which I have subsequently learnt is not uncommon. I have a gripe that the "After CABG" documentation which I was given to take home by the heart Hospital did not mention this possibility, so it was initilally quite frightening. I was rushed into RBH early one morning in an ambulance as an emergency. This hospital stay turned out to be longer then the one in the Heart Hospital, while medication was adjusted to stabilse my heart-rate. I am currently waiting for Cardioversion in a few weeks time.

Anything else?

We are not sure what ther purpose of the front-door reception is. It does not seem to be security as all and sundry are able to wander in unchallenged. I feel that everyone who enters the building should be challenged, and checked against patient lists or signed in as visitors.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from The Heart Hospital

Thanks very much for your comments and I hope you have made a good recovery since your admission to Hospital in Reading. I was sorry to hear that you found our overnight accomodation prior to surgery to be of a low standard and I am very pleased to confirm that we are currently renovating this block of rooms as we know that it is not up to the standard of the rest of the unit at present. I very much hope that this will significantly improve the experience for patients and their families. I have also asked the Surgical team to review their documentation in light of your comments and have fed back to the 3rd floor in relation to your experience at handover (although I note that you found the care to be excellent in due course.)

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