"Total knee replacement"

About: Hexham General Hospital

Anything else?

I was admitted to HGH on Dec 10, 2012, for a total knee replacement. During the whole process, from initial consultation, through pre-op procedures to the operation itself, post-op care abnd physiotherapy, I was treated with all the competence, care, dignity and courtesy I would expect. This applies to all the staff I met from all departments: consultants, nurses, physiotherapists, auxilliaries, etc. I was impressed that all of these appeared to work as an effective team, communicating with and respecting each other: there was no sign of any medical hierarchy, everyone's expertise was recognised.

Following my surgery I had two minor incidents - a leaking would, and a confusion over the date of a physiotherapy session, and in both cases I was dealt with humanely, courteously and effieciently by the staff involved. The ward staff were always welcoming if I turned up post-operatively without an appointment; they would arrange for the appropriate specialist to come as soon as possible, and would make me comfortable with a quiet chair, a cup of tea or even a full meal while I waited.

The only negative point I would make is that I saw evidence of some medical staff (not associated with the orthopaedic department) being extremely stressed, and I hope that does not mean that economies are forcing them to work harder than is appropriate.

I will end by saying that, like everyone, I have read with horror some of the terrible stories of patient suffering in the NHS. I can honestly say that my experience of Hexham General is the extreme opposite of that. Keep up the good work!

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Response from Hexham General Hospital

Dear Sir/Madam

Thank you very much for taking the time to get in touch with your kind words. I’m so pleased that you have received excellent care through all stages of your treatment and by all staff you came into contact with. As an organisation it is very important to us that our patients are treated with care and dignity at all times and I’m glad that your experience has mirrored our expectations. I do hope you’re continuing to recover well from what I know can be a very painful operation.

Thank you also for bringing the behaviour of medical staff to our attention. All feedback on matters relating to safety and quality of care is most welcome and indeed an essential part of helping us provide best care. I will ensure this is forwarded to our business units to feed into their own monitoring systems.

Medical roles can be stressful and demanding by their very nature but we wouldn’t expect this to impact on patient care. Please be assured that we are monitored rigorously in terms of our high standards of care and that our wards are staffed appropriately and safely. We also actively encourage our staff to speak up if they have any concerns.

Thank you again for contacting us, I will ensure that your comments on your care are passed on to all the staff concerned- they will be extremely pleased to receive them.

Kind regards


Annie Laverty, Director of Patient Experience

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