"My overall experience was of a ..."

About: Watford General Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

My overall experience was of a one week stay for a major operation, the first in 61 years. The staff put me at my ease, were very professional but also approachable, from student nurses to the team of surgeons. I was given all the information I needed from initial diagnosis to outcomes, and the experience was comfortable, in spite of a heat wave.

One of the student nurses was particularly complimentary about the level of support she was getting from supervising staff.

I have written to Claire Ward MP to let her know how delighted I was with my treatment.

What could be improved

In eight days not many people called me by my first name.' That gentleman', 'young man', 'darling' or worse, nothing at all is not good enough in 2008. Using a first name (or preferred form of address) as often as possible helps make a patient feel valued. It costs nothing and is a simple part of staff training. I did hear sexist comments made to nurses by patients and a reasonably formal code can prevent this. I have been a teacher for 45 years and would quite obviously never call a student 'love'. I believe Dale Carnegie said that the sweetest sound in all the world is the sound of your own name. It certainly helps oil the wheels of a temporary working relationship.

I did hear nurses complaining about paperwork and I know how much the profession would like to spend more time on patient care.

Story from NHS Choices

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