"I went to Musgrove to have my gallbladder removed"

About: Musgrove Park Hospital / General surgery

(as the patient),

Yesterday I went to Musgrove to have my gallbladder removed. I can't speak highly enough of my surgeon and even more highly of my anaesthesiologist, They both did sterling jobs.

The rest of the staff also did the best they could, but it was under trying circumstances – it seemed to me that there just were not enough of them to handle their case loads. I first went to the Surgical Admissions Lounge where I was met by a very nice nurse who also doubled as my intake person. So after someone else took my blood (in case I needed a transfusion), she called me in to a small room to began to fill in the paper work. She was called away at least five times to answer the phone, deal with other staff, and at one point, when she was called away while she was taking my blood sugar (I have diabetes), she told me to keep an eye on the reading, which I did. The machine shut down before her return, so it was lucky I was looking.

The surgeon was looking at my file (which is quite thick), and he was unable to find papers that he himself had put in there earlier! Also, the hospital computer didn't work, and he couldn't open one or two of the files.

Then I went to surgery which was wonderfully handled as far as I could remember (I was out for much of it).

In Ward Three recovery, I was in there for the afternoon. Towards the end of my time there I had several questions that needed answering. On three occasions I asked one of the ward workers to get my nurse. Meanwhile, the patient opposite me was visited five times. I finally rang the call button, and it was still fifteen more minutes before the nurse came! (I understand triage, and I am sure that the man across the ward from me needed their care more than I did, but over an hour to get a nurse to come?)

Then when it came time for my discharge, my nurse hadn't had time to write up my discharge papers, so I left without them. I can only trust that I will get them sometime.

Please understand that I am not writing to you to complain about the quality of the service at Musgrove. I am writing to say that it looks to me that they are way understaffed. And while the NHS is being asked to make more and more cuts, this does not make me feel very comfortable. I was in good, but way too busy hands.

Being both a recent patient in our medical system, and involved in patient participation here in Somerset County, I trust that this feedback could be useful in our deliberations. This just isn't the kind of excellent service I had grown accustomed to receiving through the NHS.

I am now home and while my surgery hurts a bit, I am on the road to recovery.

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Response from Martine Price, Head of Patient Experience, Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for taking the time to give us some feedback, which is really important. Your comments have been given to the staff leading the Surgical Admissions Lounge and Ward 3.

I would welcome the opportunity to talk to you in more detail about your experience. If you would wish to do that I can be contacted on 01823 343536.

I hope you are continuing to recover well.

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