" The whole admissions experience was disgusting"

About: William Harvey Hospital / General surgery

(as a friend),

I recently accompanied someone to surgical admissions.

The admission time was 7. 30. There was no greeting or information given. The waiting room was bare with only two pathetic magazines. The preliminaries were done and we were eventually moved to another waiting area with a cubical and yet more (uncomfortable) chairs. This patient was in pain and found sitting for any length of time let alone in the NHS idea of a chair more than uncomfortable. The patient, already terrified, was to wait another 3 hours + until going to the theatre. With no distraction, watching the wall, the stress mounted as did the blood pressure. This was seen as normal prior to admission. This sorry tale concluded with the patient being sent home due to the high blood pressure latterly recorded.

Staff were polite and reasonably friendly. All stood by absolutes of procedure. No beds prior to theatre, no pre med to relax anxious patients, cold unattractive surroundings, long waits in the said, cold and uncomfortable surroundings. No acknowledgement was given that patients are individuals with very different responses to stress and levels of disabilty. No ongoing reassurance / comfort offered. There was a real feeling of isolation, with staff in preoccupied in their world to the exclusion of their patients.

I found the experience chilling and inhumane. The operation may not have had to be cancelled if the admissions protocols actually involved the human element and not a bureaucratic "throughput" strategy. The whole admissions experience was disgusting. Surely, even within the current NHS limitations improvements could be made.

We are due to return, something to be dreaded, this, quite apart from the ordeal of surgery.

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Response from Julie Pearce, Chief Nurse + Director of Quality + Operations, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for providing feedback and I am really sorry to read of your experience, this is not what we would aspire to and generally have good feedback from our surgical admissions process. So it is really disappointing to see that this was not your experience. I would like the opportunity to arrange to talk with you and also for you to meet staff prior to your next admission. Please do contact me on Julie.pearce1@nhs.net so we can explore what you would find helpful.

Please accept my apologies again

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