"Total knee replacement surgery and recovery on..."

About: Kettering General Hospital

I just wanted to let my experience of surgery at KGH be known to staff and other potential patients. On 15th April 2014 I had a total knee replacement. Throughout my stay I was well informed, very well cared for and generally enjoyed my stay with Ashton ward (well as much as you can following a very painful operation). The ward was exceptionally clean and staff all friendly. Privacy at some awkward moments was taken care of professionally and sensitively. My pain was well managed and physiotherapists were all helpful and friendly although we did dread them a little as it was always a painful experience. I didn't feel pressured to go home before I felt ready to cope and well enough. The only negatives I felt were the catering. I know the hospital is on a limited budget but I can only descibe the sandwiches as very bland and not enough choice (especially wholemeal sandwiches which consisted on limp lettuce and no dressing) a view felt by the rest of my ward. Vegetables with the main courses we limited to one choice and fish and chips was dreadful and overcooked (we did manage to laugh about it though). Having tea at 4.30 meant we could only have sandwiches as it was too early to eat and they were the only thing that would keep till later when we were hungry. On a positive, the curry and casserole was good. We were treated to a trip to the chapel by the volunteer service to attend the Easter service. A welcome trip out with wonderful helpers. Suggestions for improvements would be a day room with tekevision and tables for eating at. When I was on the gynaecological ward I found this invaluable in my recovery. It gave me exercise to get there and social interaction. People on orthopedic wards aren't ill just incapacitated and I'm sure it would aid recovery. Since returning home my only major gripe was not having enough pain medication. I have had many a sleepless night since my operation. I only take co-codamols at home and this was totally insufficient. Also the lenght of time before seeing a physiotherapist. It will be three weeks since my discharge before my appointment and my knee is becoming stiffer by the day undoing all the hard work and expense dine by the hospital. I know NHS patients who had the same operation at the Woodlands had several sessions soon after discharge. Maybe this is something that urgently needs reviewing as it wastes money in the long run. On the whole though I had a very positive experience at the hospital and will be happy to come in for my other knee when the need arises :-)

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Response from Kettering General Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience of your recent inpatient stay on Ashton Ward. It is such a reward when our patients provide us with feedback whether it be positive or constructive, and it is important that patients feel that as you state “awkward” moments are handled in a professional and sensitive manner. I will pass on your kind comments to the team on Ashton Ward and our Physiotherapy departments. I will also pass on the comments to our Physiotherapy Department regarding the waiting times as they would want patients to continue to improve following discharge from hospital. With regard to the catering, I will pass on your comments to the Catering Department as our hospital food does receive good comments, and therefore it is important that they are aware of any issues that may be easily addressed. If you are require different pain medication please contact your GP who may be able to provide an alternative to the current medication that you are taking. In your message you kindly reminded us that it is through the actions of individual members of staff, within their teams, that a positive experience can take place. Please be assured that your message will reach the staff involved in your care.

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