"Unhappy with Northwick Park Trust Plus"

About: North West London Hospitals NHS Trust / Trustplus

(as the patient),

Twice I have stayed at Northwick Park (Trustplus, the private service) for a colonoscopy under general anaesthetic and unfortunately I have to go back in a fortnight for a repeat procedure.

The only reason I continue to go to this hospital is because the procedure is performed by a very talented doctor. If it was possible for me to have this procedure done under a general by this Dr at any other hospital I would leap at the chance and await this day avidly.

The first time I was admitted on a Sunday and used the separate private lift which is since defunct and went into reception and found it was not manned. The sister in charge was not aware that I was having a general anaesthetic; the ward had lost the bowel preparation that I was due to take so I now ask for it to be sent to me by his secretary. Trying to get the hot water brought to my room at the times required for my bowel prep was nigh on impossible and I had to go out and request it several times each time despite the fact it had been written down at the nurses station (by me, in advance).

As I was Nil By Mouth a nurse came in to take my blood pressure and took a half eaten mars bar out of her pocket for a bite in front of me, who had been on a special diet for three days. The breakfast girl woke me up to ask me what I wanted when I was nil by mouth.

The nurses seemed to me to ignore the buzzer all night long - it is constantly going and I saw some of them standing around and chatting quite loudly. On my first visit I repeatedly asked for something to allow me to sleep, was told to 'leave them alone as we have some sick people up here' and when I said I was so desperate I would sleep on the sofas in the waiting room the nurse said ' fine but I'm not moving you'.

As the list for colonoscopy finishes late generally when you wake up you are starving but too late for dinner. No special allowances. I always pay the same rate as one would for three meals and never get any of them but trying to get any food to be in my room when I come back up after surgery is nigh on impossible and all they will allow is one sandwich, which is usually charged as an extra. I have literally been standing in the corridor waiting for the breakfast trolley. Last time I waited 2 hours after my op for a sandwich I had ordered four or five hours previously and ended up just walking out.

I think that the problem here is you have some NHS nurses who refuse to treat me, as a private patient, differently to NHS patients. In fact I think that some treat them worse, because any request is seen as demanding, which frankly, when you are paying £2000 for a nights care and food is shocking.

If I could go anywhere else I really would. It is an experience I dread, having experienced the London Clinic and the Princess Grace in London which are no more expensive and both covered by all major insurers. The care and humour in these two hospitals is exemplary.

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