"My inpatient stay for upper GI surgery"

About: Queen Elizabeth Hospital / Upper gastrointestinal sugery

(as the patient),

I was admitted after being ill for quite a long time. I was referred by my GP. I was taken into the CDU and given a side room quite quickly to be honest. I was seen by a Consultant, Registrar and a Junior Doctor within 4 hours. I was given a rough diagnosis at this point, with further investigations needed.

I had an xray at 2am and was then admitted to Ward 624. The next day I was given a contrast CT scan, which showed an unusual diagnosis that could not have been expected. In order to confirm this diagnosis, I was referred for an endoscopy. This was all carried out as an inpatient.

The endoscopy was very uncomfortable and I must say I felt like I was on a conveyor belt in that dept. The staff on that shift were not very caring, with one looking at the duty rosta on the computer and discussing their plans for the weekend while I was trying to remain calm, as this was probably something I dreaded the most. The sedation offered did not work on me and I think it is cruel that a certain type of sedation is offered and it is not revised if it doesn't appear to work properly.

In the end, I had to have another endoscopy and a colonoscopy in order to take biopsies and firm up the diagnosis. This filled me with dread, and I asked for further sedation, pointing out that the last time it didn't seem to work. I was reassured that I would be given extra due to the colonoscopy etc. However, again the sedation did not seem to have the desired effect. I made my throat sore for three days with the amount of retching I did during the endoscopy, and the colonoscopy had me sweating and crying with pain, while on the table. Following this, I was placed in recovery and the cannula that they had used actually fell out of my hand. This leads me to think it was not placed properly in the first place!

I stayed in the QE for nearly 4 weeks, being transferred to Ward 27 in the end. I had major surgery and was discharged after 10 days. Unfortunately, I developed a post op infection and was discharged with antibiotics. My scar has since opened up, creating a cavity of 5x3x3, which the District Nurses are coming in to dress, pack and clean everyday.

My experience of Ward 27 cannot be faulted, also the way the doctors dealt with me filled me with confidence. I was under Dr Whiting and the team and all the doctors seemed to know what was happening with my care and my condition. I only received conflicting opinions once or twice, which is human.

The staff on the Ward were caring and always had time to deal with you.

However, I did notice the Ward seemed to have a lot of elderly people blocking the beds due to their social needs and this is quite frustrating to watch as it is obvious the beds are needed in order to carry out the operations. I must say nearly all of the side rooms were taken up with long stay, elderly patients, which on a surgical ward should not really happen. The NHS needs to really look at this problem, and try to find an alternative to these patients blocking the beds.

I only had one experience at night and that was when the ward was short staffed. It was obvious as an auxilliary nurse came in to do my obs and didn't even speak to me at the time, no night time drink was offered that night and the nurses were very, very noisy talking loudly to each other down the corridor. However, considering I was in there nearly a month, this is really not bad at all!

Again, I cannot praise my experience enough. I hate Hospitals and have never stayed in Hospital before, and I won't be rushing back there but this is not due to the Hospital, it is my own feelings.

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Response from University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback on your experience at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. We welcome all feedback and would like to assure you that all comments are taken seriously and acted upon as part of our ongoing commitment to improving patient experience.

We would like to thank you for the positive feedback you have provided. It is a real morale boost for staff to receive feedback like this from patients. It means such a lot to know that the hard work, dedication and commitment of our staff is recognised and valued in this way. It is also very satisfying for staff to hear they have made such a difference to patients and made sure your experience under our care has been positive.

However, we are very disappointed to hear that there were certain aspects of your stay that did not meet your expectations and in particular your unpleasant and distressing experiences in the endoscopy department. The Matron for endoscopy would like to offer you the opportunity to talk through the specific issues either on the phone or at a face to face meeting. The Matron would like to reassure you that we are always keen to learn from negative experiences and that direct feedback from patients is the best way to learn lessons and improve standards of care. He feels that it is also important to try and restore your confidence in the process and procedures, should you need a repeat procedure in the future.

If you would like to do this please make contact via our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) team who will also be pleased to assist.

PALS can be contacted by phone 0121 371 3280, by email PALS@uhb.nhs.uk, via the hospital website http://www.uhb.nhs.uk/pals-form.htm or in person by dropping in between 9am – 4.30pm (Mon-Fri) to the PALS office located to the left of the Information Desk in the main entrance of the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.

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