"Rotherham hospital-colorectal surgery."

About: Rotherham Hospital / Gastroenterology

(as the patient),

I was admitted to hospital in Feb 2013 with scar tissue blockage and a non functioning stoma. The staff on the SAU unit were brilliant, chasing down doctors to prescribe me pain relief as soon as I arrived and also taking into account which ward I wanted to be placed, (I know many members of staff on B5 from previous stays, so would prefer to be there).

After being transferred to B5 I was pleasantly surprised to find some of the staff had remembered me from when I was admitted 4 months previously. This was a huge comfort during a distressing time. All members of staff on this ward are particularly friendly and warm, this gives a relaxed comfortable feel to the ward. I came across everyone from the cleaners to the ward manager and even the matron, they all worked together in a very smoothly run team, I can not say a bad word against them, my experience of the staff is a very positive one.

However, there are a few issues that I feel did affect the patients, me included. For example, it seemed to me that the nurses were often left with a lot of paperwork to do which took them away from the bay, and on more than one occasion I witnessed what seemed a sense of frustration amongst the nurses as they couldn't dedicate as much time to the patients as they would have liked. I observed on occasion that, during the night shift, staff were lacking in numbers as it appeared to me that a nurse would be transferred to work on another ward which left numbers on my ward lacking, with what seemed to be just 1 nurse to look after the whole ward. These nurse would of course get help from other staff members, but I am concerned as support staff members are unable to give medication or replace drips or machines and so patients It seemed to me were sometimes left waiting long periods to have the attention they needed. Although I think the biggest issue was the medical cards, it seemed to me that these were routinely taken off ward to the pharmacy or moved by the medical staff during ward rounds, often taking some time to locate again. If this happens it has a huge impact on the care of the patients, and would be frustrating for staff. I feel patients could be left in a lot of pain for long periods of time if medication cannot be handed out without the drug cards. I do feel this issue needs looking at, perhaps having a 2nd copy or computerised system that can be opened from multiple locations without compromising patient care or confidentiality. This has no reflection on the staff, more of a problem with protocol that perhaps needs looking into.

During my stay I had a lot of contact with the acute pain management team. When my consultants decided I needed to be taken off the opiate pain relief the pain team were fantastic in trying to find an alternative to suit me, this was a long process in trying many differing medicines and techniques, even at one point ordering in something which the hospital didn't previously stock. I felt very assured by the ladies on this team, Ruth in particular listened to all of my concerns and opinions and didn't once make me feel like I was being awkward-which of course most people who do need extra care worry about.

My surgical team were brilliant, all working together to solve my problematic case. With these 3 brilliant consultants behind me I felt reassured and safe that they would soon have me right again. Some difficult times and even tougher decisions meant that I had 3 operations in the space of 2 months, this was hugely traumatic of often felt like I would never be healthy again but I knew I was in good hands. Diane the stoma nurse is an amazing member of staff, a real asset to Rotherham hospital. Not only did she help me adapt to my new stoma, making sure I knew how to look after it physically, she really helped me adapt mentally, taking extra time to listen and talk thoroughly with me. On more than one occasion she fought my corner with the surgeons and made me feel so very comfortable in her presence. The open and honest approach she has really does make a refreshing change, the work she does, along with Kathryn, is immeasurable, I honestly do not know how I would have adapted so well if I didn't have contact with Diane and her team. The after care and home visits are a huge help in the adjustment period too, I can not sing their praises highly enough.

Finally, the prescription service is so simple to use, whenever I need products I just call them up and leave a message, which is usually followed up within the hour in my experience. Very friendly and warm voices on the end of the line.

All in all my experiences at Rotherham Hospital have been positive ones, and leave me in no doubt, I will be in good hands when I next need their services.

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Responses

Response from Kerry Hollingworth, Corporate Affairs Officer, The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust

Dear suzi stoma, thank you for your feedback about the care and treatment you received at TRFT. It was good to learn that you had great care from the teams.

You raised some concerns about ward staffing at night. The Trust has recently recruited a number of nurses to increase ward establishments. We expect that all wards have at least two registered members of staff on duty and the increase in nursing numbers supports this.

We are also working with pharmacy colleagues to reduce the length of time medication charts spend off the ward so that access to pain relief and other medication is not delayed. I am really pleased to learn that you have confidence in the team at TRFT and have shared your feedback with them.

Thank you for taking the time to comment on your care.

With best wishes,

Kerry

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