"Exemplary care for my breast cancer"

About: NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde / West Scotland Breast Screening Centre Western Infirmary/Gartnavel General / General Surgery

(as the patient),

I had my very first mammogram at the breast screening caravan at Clydebank Health Centre in November 2012 and was recalled to Nelson Mandela place for further checks in December where I received a biopsy.

I was diagnosed as having breast cancer in mid-December. I was devastated at the news. Within a week I had received a letter advising me that I would be having surgery in early January at the Western Infirmary to remove the cancer. I went in the week before for the pre-op assessment where I met Helen the breast care nurse, who was very supportive and helped to take away some of the fear I had about the surgery.

I went back in the next week for the radioactive nipple injection which would highlight the lymph nodes on the day of surgery. It wasn't a pleasant thing to have done but the technician did her best to put me at ease and it wasn't all that bad in the end.

On the morning of the surgery I had a wire inserted into the cancer under a local anaesthetic. Again it wasn't a nice thing to have done but the medical staff involved in the procedure were great and made it as stress free as possible. Unfortunately I had a bit of a wait before my operation as it was really busy but the breast care nurse kept a check on me throughout the day as I was really nervous.

I went down to the theatre at 2:45 pm and the staff there were great and helped calm my nerves. The operation went well and I was so relieved when it was over. After a few hours back up on the ward I was able to go home.

The following Thursday I met Miss Stallard at the out-patients clinic who gave me the good new that my lymph node biopsy was clear and so were all the other tissue samples they had taken. I was over the moon.

I will have to have a course of radiotherapy, probably at the end of March and take tamoxifen for 5 years, but I am so pleased at the positive outcome.

I would like to express my gratitude to all involved in my care since I was diagnosed. It has been extremely distressing time for me but the care and attention I have received from all the staff especially Helen the breast care nurse and Miss Stallard who performed the surgery has been exemplary.

With all the negative stories we are hearing in the media just now regarding the NHS, I thought I had to write and tell you that the experience I have had has been a very positive one. Keep up the good work.

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Response from Paul Cannon, Head of Administration, Acute Services Division, Greater Glasgow & Clyde NHS

Thank you for taking the time and trouble to provide your very kind feedback.

I will ensure that this is passed on to those involved and I am sure that they will be very pleased to read your comments.

I am sorry that this posting was not acknowledged at the time, we had a break in our use of Patient Opinion, but we have now resumed doing so, and I thought it was still important to acknowledge your posting and where appropriate to pass comments on.

Once again, thank you for using the Patient Opinion feedback system, it is greatly appreciated.

Both the staff at the Breast Screening Clinic and Miss Stallard and her team at the Western Infirmary will be delighted to read your very thoughtful remarks.

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