"I want to spread the news of the positive experience I had with you"

About: Southampton General Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as the patient),

Here is a copy of my letter of thanks for Ward F1 after my stay from Mid December:

Dear all on Ward F1,

Thank you ever so much for all your hard work in healing me over the Christmas period. You may never really understand how thankful I am to you all for your efforts; I hope that I always showed you how grateful I was when I was with you.

All your nursing and ward staff were constantly caring and efficient. The explanations of my medical problems were always delivered to me with the right level of complexity and I felt any questions I asked were answered appropriately. When I was almost completely immobile, no task was too big or small for you all. You really made me feel cared for without being a burden. With all the work you have to do on a daily basis you still managed to keep morale high on the ward; spending enough time with me to make me feel happy and human. I enjoyed many laughs with you while I was on the mend; there was always a moment to spare to keep us patients happy and laughing. You all were wary of my privacy and dignity for which I’m additionally thankful.

The consultants and doctors spoke to me sensibly on their rounds, taking care to explain things to me, and keeping calm when I forgot or misunderstood things they had told me. They made the daunting seem pedestrian; I always felt that the best decisions were being made for me. Talking about me rather than to me was kept to an absolute minimum; when it did happen, it was for a reason and I didn’t mind.

The physiotherapy team were brilliant in getting me to push myself each day to achieve new goals without fear I would hurt myself. Thanks to them I was mobile enough to return to my home as soon as possible and Occupational Health’s involvement means I was safe there also.

I would like to say thank you to the cleaning staff too; they did a sterling job keeping us tidy and clean. Also, there was no attitude of tasks being outside their job description; on numerous occasions they would help me by passing me things out of my reach, or just having a chat. There was no atmosphere of their invisibility which was refreshing.

My stay unfortunately did last over the festive period, but all of you meant that this was as enjoyable an experience as it could be rather than a dismal one. Living with you for what was almost a fortnight really gave me additional respect for everyone involved in the medical profession. There was absolutely no sign of any of the negative tales that are anonymously bandied around these days. I want to spread the news of the positive experience I had with you, so I have sent a copy of this letter to the Chief Executive of the Southampton NHS Trust, the Matron in charge of Orthopaedics (Trauma) and the Patient Opinion website.

Thank you once again for all your hard work and support. I wish you all the very best for the future; you will all excel at your careers I am sure.

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Response from Southampton General Hospital

Thank you so much for going to the trouble of sharing your positive experience. The teams work hard to achieve a high standard of care and it is with great pleasure that your comments will be shared with those staff who got it right for you.

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