"Service was great, once it was eventually received..."

About: Russells Hall Hospital

What I liked

Once I made it into a hospital bed on the ward, the doctors, nurses and surgical team were all very friendly, helpful and polite. I was kept informed of what was going on, and discharge was quick and efficient.

What could be improved

Having been telephoned at 10.30am to be told a bed was ready for me, I made my way directly to the ward where I had to wait over 3 hours sitting in their waiting/photocopying room. It was made clear from the outset that I needed to be in and out of the hospital as quickly as possible as I was breastfeeding my 7 week old baby, so it was incredibly frustrating to be left waiting for so long.

Communication was poor - I'd been under the impression I could have a side room to take my child in with me to hospital, only to find out the morning of my operation that this was not the case. I didn't have suficient notice to express milk to continue breastfeeding, so my child had to be given formula. As an organisation that encourages breastfeeding, very little was done to accomodate this.

While I was waiting to be given a bed, I was given misleading information: phrases suchs as 'soon', 'I don't think it'll be long now,' and 'you'll be the next or next but one patient.' This made the long wait all the more frustrating, and although an apology was made to me for waiting so long, it was uttered as a stock phrase and did not sound sincere.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Russells Hall Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to post your comments on NHS Choices. We welcome all feedback and would like to assure you that all comments are taken seriously and acted upon as part of our ongoing commitment to improving patient experience.

We would like to apologise for the time you had to wait for a bed and for the poor communication you experienced. Patients waiting for a planned procedure are admitted and discharged throughout the day and there can sometimes be a delay in allocating beds. We know this can be frustrating waiting for a bed to become available.

As you say, The Dudley Group does proactively encourage breastfeeding and, indeed, our Maternity Unit has been awarded UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative accreditation for ten years, which demonstrates our commitment to supporting new mothers with breastfeeding.

We usually do our best to make arrangements for women who are breastfeeding and it seems that, on this occasion, this did not happen. We do have a limited number of side rooms and it may be that on the day you visited a side room wasn’t available.

We appreciate your feedback which has been forwarded to the senior team so that we can learn lessons from your experiences and put measures in place to improve the care we provide.

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