"Terrible experience with Gynaecology on Tolgus..."

About: Royal Cornwall Hospital (Treliske)

I had a hysterectomy in January 2014. The surgeon told me beforehand that he thought it probably couldn't be done laparoscopically but he would try. Unfortunately he did have to do it by open surgery. I came round from the anaesthetic in agony and was only given oral pain relief. I have since discovered that patients are usually given a PCA for this kind of surgery. Yet, despite my continuing pain and distress when I was taken to the ward, I didn't see a member of the pain relief team until 2 days later when it was too late. During my stay, I found most doctors I encountered to be distant and arrogant. They seemed totally unwilling to take responsibility for anything other than their surgery and were uninterested in my welfare or recovery. Nurses had great difficulty in getting them to see patients; they seemed to prefer to issue instructions by phone. The nursing care was patchy and chaotic. The most caring staff were the healthcare assistants and nurse practioners. There was a real jobsworth attitude amongst a lot of the nurses. One nurse was extremely unkind. Added to this, the ward was dirty and untidy, especially the toilet and shower. The basics of infection control seemed to be ignored. For example, there weren't enough chairs for visitors, which meant they often sat (and put their bags) on beds. Visitors were also made to feel unwelcome and uninformed of their relative's progress (how about a donation for a hot drink rather than a large sign saying that drinks are only for patients?). Food was ok but there were some bizarre combinations (cheese and potato pie with a side order of sauté potatoes or spaghetti hopes as only veg choices; vegetarian menu almost entirely reliant on cheeses as protein). I feel totally traumatised by my experience. Somebody needs to urgently sort out the management of the ward and the doctors need to work with the nurses as a team. Needless to say, I've made a formal complaint.

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Response from Royal Cornwall Hospital (Treliske)

We always take concerns about standards of care seriously and are very sorry when a patient feels their care has fallen short of the high standards we set. In respect for patient confidentiality we cannot respond to individual concerns online but we will provide a full response through our complaints process.

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