"Haemorrhoid surgery, RUH"

About: Royal United Hospital / General surgery

(as the patient),

4 yrs ago I was referred by my GP to RUH for haemorrhoid surgery. I was shocked to be put in an open ward. When the Senior Consultant came to see me after general anaesthetic, he announced within earshot of a young male patient that they hadn't carried out the procedure because the problem was not haemorrhoids but that I was 'hanging down there like an elephant's trunk', and that I would have to return for further surgery. Not only was I shocked, embarrassed and upset at the diagnosis but humiliated and angry at how I had been told, whilst other patients were listening. When I returned for a consultation with the consultant I told him - politely - not to use the term he had used before and how upset I was at how he had told me in earshot of other patients. He took umbrage at this and said it would be better if he passed me on to another consultant. I left the RUH in tears at his abrasive manner, lack of empathy and with the knowledge that my op would now be delayed several weeks.

I did consider lodging a complaint, but after discussing it with a friend, I decided it would only make matters worse. A few days later I received a 4 page document from the Consultant (copied to my GP) explaining his reasons for passing me on to a colleague - patently covering himself in case I complained about him. 6 months later I had the op and was in hospital for one week, on the Parry Ward. I was very well attended post -op but after a couple of days I was moved to the far end of the ward and the following 5 days experienced what I could only call 'adequate' care. There seemed to be a general lack of what I call 'patient care’ and continuity of staff, particularly during the night. Some patients in my ward were confused and elderly ladies. During the night they would get up and look for the bathroom and end up wandering about. On occasions I had to get up and help them my self. I was often awake most of the night as one of the dementia patients often cried out and shouted.

The food was unappetising and the elderly patients who could not or would not eat were ignored, no one took the time to see if they had eaten or not. I believe that recovery from any illness depends on adequate sleep, good nutrition and 'care' none of these elements were in good supply during my week in the RUH. After I was discharged, 3 days later I got an infection and woke in the night to a pool of blood and my wound had opened up. I required daily visits from the District Nurse. When I returned to the RUH for a post-op check I was not even examined to check if everything had healed as it should. On the whole I feel that I did not have a good experience, although I am now fully recovered and in the best of health and am grateful for having the procedure done.

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Response from Lucy Nicholls, Development Officer, Somerset LINk

This story was submitted to the Somerset Local Involvement Network (Somerset LINk) as part of our Patient Stories project.

The Somerset LINk is a network of patients and patient groups across Somerset who have an interest in monitoring health and social care.

We collect stories from local people about their experiences of using health and social care services and this helps to inform our work holding services to account. We read all of the stories that are posted on Patient Opinion and are very grateful for the patients and carers who take the time to share their stories, in order to make services better for everyone.

Many thanks to the patient who shared their story above.

Best wishes,


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