"Terrifying, upsetting and traumatic"

About: Watford General Hospital

What I liked

The ICU staff themselves were caring and professional and I have no complaints about their treatment of me whatsoever.

What could be improved

The broken ICU bed should have been replaced so that I was not lying on a deflated 'mattress' that barely covered the metal bars beneath it.

I should have been warned about ICU psychosis before I was admitted - not in a pamphlet received at home two weeks after my surgery. The experience was utterly terrifying.

I should have been transferred to a ward instead of having to endure a 4 day stay in ICU and then a release straight home after a traumatic day of indecision by senior staff/consultants. ICU is no place for a conscious, aware and ambulatory patient - it's distressing and very scary.

I should have been told that the surgeon had accidentally nicked a vein during surgery and that this was why I was being put onto Warfarin. I have still not had any explanation or apology regarding this from my consultant and am only aware of the situation because of the notes given to my own GP and NHS Trust. This error is going to continue to affect my life considerably for the next 3 months and whilst I have no issue with the fact that these things happen I am extremely angry at what looks like an attempt to 'keep me in the dark'.

Anything else?

At the point of my initial referral I was offered a choice of hospitals - I chose St Albans because it was close enough for my wife to get to by train and the waiting time was several weeks shorter than my local trust could offer.

I ended up in Watford, which was a logistical nightmare for my wife (who had to sleep on the floor of the visitors waiting room when my psychosis necessitated her presence) and a nightmare for me because of the lack of beds and all that is detailed above.

It['s a lesson learned - if I ever need treatment again then I will stick to my local trust, even if that means a slightly longer wait.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Watford General Hospital

We're sincerely sorry that you're unhappy with the service you have received. We understand that at time of writing, the Intensive Care Unit are trying to contact you to address your concerns directly.

However, we can assure you that if you would like to contact us formally through the Trust’s Quality Assurance department at wherts-tr.complaintsteam@nhs.net , we would welcome the opportunity to thoroughly investigate all of your concerns on your behalf, and provide you with a detailed response to each of the issues raised.

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