"From pre-op to my stay in hospital, overall a..."

About: Royal Berkshire Hospital

What I liked

I was in hospital for a total hysterectomy by abdominal incision and was very nervous about the whole experience. However, I think the Enhanced Recovery Programme is an excellent initiative and I found all aspects of it useful, including the pre-op workshop and individual discussion with a senior nurse, as well as the patient diary. While in hospital, generally all staff were consistently kind and supportive and were quick to help with any queries or worries. Just one doctor scared me with their comments but this was not typical. Compared to a gynae' operation in the same hospital about 18 years ago, there were huge improvements - bays of 4 beds (rather than a large open-plan ward), more nursing staff on duty, much better pre-op' advice and much cleaner bathrooms.

What could be improved

My only small issue was after leaving hospital. I felt very vulnerable leaving on Day 3 and the 'Leaving hospital following a hysterectomy' leaflet promised a follow-up call after a few days by one of the nursing staff, but this did not happen. I telephoned with a worry I had but the person who answered simply read out a paragraph from the leaflet word for word with no additional advice! But overall, my experience was a good one and I would not hesitate to recommend this hospital.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Royal Berkshire Hospital

Thank you for your positive feedback about the gynaecology department and the Enhanced Recovery Programme. Patient feedback is valued greatly and any issues acted upon. We are sorry that you did not receive a follow-up call as mentioned in the patient literature – we now no longer telephone patients once they have left hospital and give them the ward contact details instead so they can call us if necessary, as this is what patients told us they want. We will ensure that the literature is amended to reflect this change. We are also sorry to hear that you didn't receive reassurance when you telephoned the ward with a query; usual practice is to consider individual needs and provide appropriate information. We will remind ward staff to ensure this happens in future. Thank you again for your valuable feedback and we hope that your recovery is progressing well.

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