"Nurses and paperwork. The information is not being passed on"

About: Royal Bournemouth General Hospital / Urology

(as the patient),

Much has been said in the press about nurses buried under paper. Here is my observation.

I am suffering from bladder tumours. I have an operation approximately every four months for the last 18 months. I have just had my seventh.

Prior to every operation I have a pre op where a senior nurse goes through my records. I am asked; have I got this or that and any implants. Fine BUT on the day of the operation I have another nurse go through a similar list of; have you got this or that and any implants. Once I am in the 'op' prep room the surgeon introduces himself and asks; have you got or had etc.

Since I have had seven cystoscopies in about fifteen months the continual repeated questions would seem to be a waste of time. WHY not have a question such as, has anything changed since your last operation? This would save valuable nurse time and help to provide a quicker turn round of patients/operations.

I am very happy with the medical treatment I have received except 'that' when I go through the check list with the nurse before my ‘op’ I request that two pillows are provide in the aesthetic room before I climb onto the operating couch, they are never there which causes a panic! I suffer from ankylosing spondylitis where my back is fused and cannot lay flat. The information simply is not being passed on.

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Response from Sue Mellor, Patient Experience Lead, Royal Bournemouth & Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Mikegruntfour

Thank you for your taking the time to place your comments. I can understand your frustration and having the same questions repeated only to have your request for 2 pillows not passed on. I agree there was definitely a communication error and I apologise.

The repetitive questions are designed for patient safety which is at the forefront of everything we do and checklists have an important role in ensuring high standards of care and reducing errors. I know it is time consuming to ask the same questions of you repeatedly, however experience has shown that if you ask a patient what has changed they can potentially forget to mention something important and relevant especially if there is a long interval between their operations or hospital visits. Therefore we have a standardised approach. I hope this goes to in some way explaining why we ask the questions prior to surgery.

I hope that you are on the path to recovery and pleased to note that you are happy with the rest of the medical treatment you receive at our Trust. If you would like to discuss this further please contact PALs on 01202 704886.

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