"Mixed opinion but satisfied overall"

About: Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Birmingham)

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I had a pre-transplant assessment which involved having a series of tests in various departments and I must express how satisfied and impressed I was with the organisation and how smoothly and efficiently the process went. After a brief explanation of what to expect, I was sent for a chest x-ray and was seen within 10 minutes of arrival. Following that, I was sent for ECG, ultra-sound, exercise tolerance test and in each department, I was seen immediately and communication between staff was excellent!

I was later called back to complete the second part of the assessment and this is where I became a little jaded. I was given an appointment to stay for 4 days in the short stay ward (old QE hospital) and told that forms and an information pack would be sent out to me and that I should return the forms as soon as possible. The hospital did not send me out forms to fill in, so when I arrived, they knew very little of my personal circumstances - whether I was married, had children, allergies, medical history, religion, dietary requirements, etc. This resulted in me being given an evening meal later in the day which was unsuitable, given that I am muslim and a vegetarian! Not a big deal I know, but it indicated a degree of sloppiness which disappointed me following my initial impressions during the pre-transplant assessment.

The short stay ward was a pleasant stay, all things considered and the staff were very professional and helpful, however, I found them thoughtless and inconsiderate at night time. Each night, staff would talk and howl with laughter in the middle of the ward with little regard for patients who needed to sleep! The nursing staff seemed to be unaware of why I was on the ward and I was asked on numerous occasions by different nurses why I had been admitted!! Twice I was asked not to eat or drink from midnight the night before because of investigative tests the following day, yet on both occasions, it was later realised that I could have had water and a light breakfast. Communication seemed muddled and at times, non-existent.

In spite of this, I am happy to be returning to QE for checks before my much hoped for transplant, particularly since I will not be required to stay in the Short Stay Ward. My overall opinion of QE is a very, very positive one and I consider myself fortunate to be considered for transplant at one of the UK's leading centres.

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