"Early morning experience by a Yank at Stoke"

About: Stoke Mandeville Hospital

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At 1 AM on 18/09/13 I arose from bed trying to again pass urine to relieve my bladder pressure but was unable to do so despite trying things like taking long walks in the hotel corridors. At 2:30AM I spoke to hotel staff and obtained the name and zip code of the nearest hospital in Hi Wycombe. There I was informed that I had to drive to Stoke because they "lacked the equipment" to help. I drove to Stoke arriving at 4AM. I entered the Emergency ward and spoke to the admitting clerk regarding the acute pain i was experiencing. She dispassionately took my name and address and asked me to be seated to wait to be seen by a nurse. I was unable to sit at all in my condition and paced about in pain as i waited. My distress did not seem to have any effect upon the clerk who ignored me. After repeatedly asking her to get help for me over a period of almost an hour a nurse happened by and came to my aid. I was taken to an examining room and seem by a nurse and lady doctor. The care given by both these professionals was excellent. The doctor inserted a Foley catheter which immediately relieved my pain. My flight back home to the US was scheduled to depart at 4PM from Heathrow on that day, so the doctor brought her supervising Dr in to discuss options and risks going forward for my treatment. A thorough discussion of my options was given and a decision to administer IV fluids and check for infection and blood indicators was made with myself included in the determinations. I was advised that were I a UK patient I would be hospitalized to minimize possible kidney damage from the retention episode, but that the decision on whether to be released to continue home would be mine alone. These doctors made every effort to answer my questions professionally, clearly and completely as I made my decision. They displayed a keen interest in helping me deal with my situation in a manner that was in my best interest healthwise. I found their assistance to me to be outstanding, and at the age of 73 I have seen many doctors in my time. I ultimately decided to await the administering of about an hour of IV fluids while my blood and urine were being tested, and then left the hospital for my hotel room in Hi Wycombe with a Foley catheter installed and flew home to Virginia. My observations of Stoke are: 1) Admittance clerk needs to have more empathy for the patient's plight. 2) The admittance area's mens WC toilet is badly broken. 3) Stokes Emergency is an old facility in need of update. 4) Nursing and Doctor staff are Superb! 5) Hi Wycombe needs equipment for catherization. 5) Upon departure there was no request for money. Everything in my 2 week stay in the UK was very expensive but quality health care was not. Thank You and I hope that a UK citizen would be so treated in the US. Please thank the staff for me.

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Response from Stoke Mandeville Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to comment and for your feedback, we will make sure this is fed back to the staff and to our maintenance team. You will be pleased to know that we are in the process of upgrading and modernising our emergency department. We hope you have recovered well. Kind regards Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

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