"Thank you for excellent treatment: A & E and..."
About: St Thomas' Hospital (London) St Thomas' Hospital (London) London SE1 7EH
Posted by Bridget Somekh
I slipped on a metal drain cover outside Covent Garden Tube at 10.45 pm on Tuesday January 14th 2014 and sustained a comminuted fracture of my left knee-cap. The ambulance arrived within 15 minutes and I was taken by London Ambulance Service to St Thomas’s. I was treated with great kindness, efficiency and expertise by all the LAS and St Thomas’ staff who looked after me. At A&E I was taken immediately to a cubicle, the injury was assessed with great care, my leg was straightened (with pain control), X-rayed and, much to my surprise, an orthopaedic surgeon came to see me at 1.15 am and discussed surgery to take place the following morning. I was admitted to Alan Apley Ward and went to the operating theatre at 11.30 am on Jan 15th. After spending a couple of hours in the Recovery Room I was taken to George Perkins Ward. The nursing staff were wonderfully caring and at all times I felt I was being treated with respect and dignity. Although they had many other patients they made me feel that my needs were their priority. I found myself thinking over and over again how lucky I am to have the NHS at such a time of crisis. The service was nothing less than outstandingly good. The orthopaedic surgical team were impressive in their expert knowledge and individual care for me. The operation was complex and all the possible negative consequences were fully discussed with me in advance. My knee-cap was secured with wires, the wound sutured and dressed. My leg was kept straight and secure with two strong, soft braces and after 24 hours was put into a light plaster cast. The surgeon who conducted the operation came to assist the technician fitting the plaster and gave me a letter and additional spoken advice to pass on to Addenbrooke’s hospital in Cambridge at the time of two-week follow up. After the cast was fitted, two physiotherapists came to teach me how to walk safely with crutches. Pharmacists also came to consult me on my regular medication and the pain-killers and Dalteparin injections that would be by on-going treatment after discharge to safe-guard me from blood clots. On Thursday evening Jan 16th I was transported home to Cambridge in an ambulance and was again treated with great kindness, care and respect. Since that time I have had my wound checked and sutures removed at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge. The coordination of this change of treatment centre from St Thomas’s to Addenbrooke’s demonstrated excellent communications and continuity of care.