"Comparisions of NHS care of knee replacement surgical patients"

About: Golden Jubilee National Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh at Little France / Trauma and Orthopaedics

(as a relative),

I had full knee replacement surgery as an NHS patient in The Golden Jubilee Hospital, Clydebank last year. My brother had the same operation in The Royal Edinburgh Infirmary in earlier this year and I wish to highlight some basic differences in the care and treatment we received. I realise that they are quite different types of hospitals, and that one having A & E dept. would make quite a difference but these concerns are things are ones which could be remedied and would make a difference to patient wellbeing.

Before going into hospital I received a booklet with info telling me what to expect prior to and after surgery which was most helpful. My brother received a faded photocopied sheet with little else than a few exercises shown.

I went into hospital the night before surgery and was settled in a bed. My brother went into hospital at 7. 30 a.m. on the day of his operation which was scheduled for midday. No bed was available for him until 5.00pm.

The dressing on my wound was waterproof and very efficient. His dressings were cheap cloth which needed replenished often (not waterproof)

No afternoon tea was served in The Infirmary - domestics no longer do this and it would seem the hospital depend on volunteers to do it. I think auxilliaries can do so if they have the time?

On discharge there were no wheelchairs available and my sister in law was asked if she would go to the front of hospital to get one. - quite a distance! She has physical problems of her own. A wheelchair was eventually brought. I was taken to my car in a wheelchair by a member of staff. Surely it could be managed that wheelchairs are always returned to this ward by porters!

My sister in law was also asked if she could return to the hospital later at night as all my brother's medication wasn't ready to take home. She cannot drive and lives quite a distance from the hospital. Parking is not free anyway and it could take up to 3 buses to get to the hospital from their house. However, I was given full explanation and advice of my medication before I left hospital.

My brother did not receive a discharge letter but was told it would be sent on to his GP. This made difficulties for him as the letter had not been received by his GP when he contacted him for more medication and for trying to organise a district nurse to see to the wound and take out the staples.

I cannot praise the staff at Clydebank enough for their care and efficiency but I think that all NHS patients are entitled to this. There were also positive aspects of the care my brother received which should also be recognised e.g. nursing care, though it was also noticed that these nurses are so busy that they do not always have the time to do everything they would like to.

The operation my brother and I had was painful, major surgery and. I feel the things I have highlighted can either add to or help ease an already stressful situation. We were both NHS patients and should expect the same standard of treatment. I also feel that these things could and should be easily rectified by better management or are there different rules/expectations for different hospitals and different post codes? ?

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Response from Christine McGuinness, Communications Manager, Golden Jubilee National Hospital

Dear norart

First of all, apologies for the delay in responding to your kind comments about the care and service you received at the Golden Jubilee National Hospital.

No one likes coming into hospital, but it's always nice to hear when patients feel that they have had a positive experience. As Scotland's national hospital, we always aim to provide the best possible service for all of our patients, each and every time and it's good to know that you received a quality service during your stay with us.

We will be sure to pass on your comments to our Orthopaedic team.

Best wishes for your ongoing recovery.

Kind regards,


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