"Experience as an emergency in-patient admission"

About: Frimley Park Hospital (Frimley)

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I was admitted to the Surgical Assesment Unit under the care of the Emergency Surgical Team at Midnight. I was imeadiately taken care of and seen by the duty surgeon / doctor(?). The level of care and compassion together with explanations of the procedures being undertaken were very good. The Consultant saw me the following morning, about 8:00 am and he explained he thought I had gall stones and that he needed an ultrasound to identify the exact diagnosis. Tests were conducted in a caring and efficient manner. My pain was controlled, and you couldn't ask for better medical care. I was moved to a ward to await a MRCAT scan and further tests. Prior to ultrasound and MR scans I was Nil By Mouth. When not being tested, I could eat normally. The Consultant insisted on a low fat diet as high fat content would cause the intense pain I had already experienced, and this was written above my bed. Unfortunately, there are no Low Fat Options shown on the daily menus patients are asked to select from. Using my limited dietary knowledge I chose the closest I could find. When moving to Nil By Mouth prior to an investigative procedure, the system works perfectly, and no food is offered. However there is absolutely no cooperation between the ward and the caterers when a patient comes off Nil By Mouth. The only options are meals that have already been prepared for patients in your ward who have: refused the meal; been placed on Nil By Mouth themselves; been dischgarged; or, presumably, died. By chance they had not been on a low fat diet. At no time was I able to get a nourishing meal complying with the Consultants directive. Medically, compasionately and ethically the care cannot be betterd. Administartively it is a shambles. For my discharge a very busy doctor / surgeon had to be away from me for 40 minutes searching for a working printer to print out my discharge letter. The Consultant discharged me with the understanding that he wished to see me at his outpatients within the next two weeks (starting Saturday 29th June), claerly written as the last entry in my notes. Having waited one working week for an appointment to be notified to me, I called the hospital. The secretary, having found my discharge record apologised that there had been no request for the appontment made and the earliest she could fit me in was in nine days time. It therefore appears that there is no working link between the medical staff and the administrative staff either. Medically brilliant, administratively very hard pressed to organise anything. What more can I say. It is such a shame that very hard working medical and acre staff are let down by the peripheral support services so drastically. It could be oh so much better.

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Responses

Response from Frimley Park Hospital

Dear Mr Withey. Thank you for taking time to share your valuable feedback and for your positive comments about the care and compassion of staff. We are sorry you were not able get a suitable meal. We have a regular food and drink forum at the hospital to review such matters and we will be raising your experience at this group to see if we can identify how we might improve the service. The other issues you raise around administration will also be passed back to the relevant staff to see if we can improve processes.

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