"Probably as pleasant an experience as surgery can..."

About: Royal United Hospital

What I liked

I had never had major surgery/general anaesthesia before and was apprehensive about it, and everyone was so supportive and nice. My surgeon and anaesthetists were both really respectful and went through with me beforehand on exactly what I wanted them to do in what circumstances and what parts I wanted removed (I was having laparoscopic surgery to remove endometriosis and chose to also have a hysterectomy including removal of the cervix and a bilateral salpingectomy, but preferred to keep my ovaries). We also discussed this in a consultation before the surgery date so I had plenty of time to read up and feel prepared for anything that might have gone wrong. The nurses were cheerful and friendly. My private room was lovely, although some beds are in small (four or fewer) wards.

What could be improved

All minor things: Some of the administrative stuff could have been better managed. My husband was initially told over the phone that the surgery was set for Monday and I needed to arrive 8am. After I spoke to my surgeon on the phone later, they realised this wasn't right as I needed to be in the day before to have a bowel prep. Later we got a letter with an admission time of 8am on Sunday, and this turned out to be in error as my room wasn't available until midday so we had to sit about in the day room all morning. The shower was lukewarm and the temperature control seemed to be stuck so I couldn't adjust it. People sometimes gave conflicting information when I asked for it, such as my surgeon saying I could be discharged next day and nurses saying not until the day after or later. While this wasn't exactly the hospital's fault, I found the advertising on the phone/screens by the beds to be garish and inappropriate ('Our customers love BIG packages') and the Internet connection was unreliable with very poor browser software. The service also claimed I could make free phone calls without paying anything, but in practice this was impossible without paying £20. Some of the films were OK though.

Anything else?

The flying socks they make you wear have holes in the end that are annoying.

Story from NHS Choices

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