"It's the only hospital in the area, oh well"

About: Southampton General Hospital

What I liked

I came into the A&E Department with a gall bladder attack and was treated relatively quickly by the triage nurse. Was brought over to a bay to wait for a nurse and doctor. The nurse told me it would take an hour before the doctor could see me so she couldn't give me any pain relief. Thankfully the A&E Doctor popped in relatively quickly and was super pleasant. I got my pain meds (morphine) and some blood drawn. Unfortunately the only successful poke was for the blood draw, sadly my veins are so bad they couldn't start an IV.

Nurses were great.

What could be improved

The doctors need to stop talking over the patient and to the patient. I am an individual with a complex surgical history, I'm basically a chronic and have been since the day I was born. I am very well aware of what my medical situation is and did try to communicate this to the doctors. Sadly there is something odd about General Surgeons the world over (I'm from Canada and it's the same attitude from General Surgery there) but it's as if they act like little demigods. I informed them that since I do have a complex surgical history I would refuse to sign anything until a urologist was involved in the decision making process.

Maybe it's a culture thing, I did note that the other ladies in my room were very deferential to the doctors. Doctors are great, they do great things, but the ones I was dealing with seem to forget that the patients are the ones who are the custodians of their bodies.

I didn't like being pawned off when I asked approximately when my ultrasound would be. A vague idea would have been good, just so I can manage my expectations. I was told precisely 5 minutes before the scan that I was to go down. Lady in the bed over had a 3hr warning.

Anything else?

Consultants need to learn that they cannot do anything without involving the patient in the decision making process.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Southampton General Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with feedback about your recent experiences in our emergency department. We were glad to hear that you found the assessment process, pain relief and nursing care to be positive. However, we were sorry to hear about your experiences with the doctors looking after you and will ensure your comments about how they came across to you are fed back to the lead consultant for the area so that each consultant is made aware. If you would like to discuss any further aspect of your care or treatment with a member of staff, please do not hesitate to contact your patient support service on 023 8079 6325.

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