"Orthopaedic Day Surgery"

About: Southmead Hospital

All I can say is that the new Southmead Hospital is totally disorganised and treats its patients as if they are on conveyor belts. I was told to report at the hospital at 7am and got there are 6.30am as it was the new hospital and did not know where I was going. I scanned my letter in the arrival section to be told by the screen that no appointment was registered for me, this happened to the other 15 patients that were desperately trying to book in. There was no staff covering reception, when asked a security guard if there was anyone to help was told no and I would have to wait until staff started later in the morning. It was only when one of the other patients grabbed a member of reception staff that was walking through that she stopped and told us all that we would need to go to the gate numbers on our letters. It did not state on the letter that was where we needed to in the first instance. Then when I went into the medi rooms before the operation, my husband and I could not believe that there was no where to put my notes, both the two doctors I saw and the anesthetist asked me where my notes were and I did not know then they had to walk off and find the nurse to ask her to only find out that the nursing staff were putting them in a cupboard as there is no space for notes. I went to theater at 9 am and was astonished that I was discharged at 12.30 only 3.5 hours after I walked into the operating theater. On discharge I was dismayed to find that I had not been given any advise on what my surgery entailed as the surgeon was still operating when I was discharged, I was told to self medicate with the medication I had at home as there was long waiting times for medication. The surgeon said I would be off for a minimum of 4 weeks but there was no sick note in the pack I was given and no instructions on how to proceed with my foot after surgery all it said on discharge leaflet was follow physios advice but the physio could not give me info before op as they were not sure what the surgery would entail and they did not come back after. I was then left to ring my own GP from the atrium whilst waiting to be picked up to request a sick note, then from home I had to phone the physio departments at Patchway and Cossham to chase up my physio appointment as I had not received them in quoted timescale and today I have had to phone Southmead to chase up my outpatient appointment for the 6 week check up as 4 weeks post op and still no appointment. To me the new hospital is totally disorganised and opened too soon, staff do not know where things are and as a patient I feel that I was rushed through the operation and out of the door to make room for the next person. I had been waiting 3 years 3months for this operation and it has been a bad experience of the NHS from start to finished, totally disgusted with the way I have been treated over this period of time.

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Response from Southmead Hospital

Dear Anonymous. Thank you for taking the time to let us know about the numerous problems you encountered when you came to Southmead hospital to have surgery. We would not wish any of our patients to be left with the impression that you have following your treatment and I will make sure your experience is shared with the relevant departments so that improvements are made. I have tried to address some of the specific issues you raised to offer assurance that these are being looked into. I have passed your comments on to the Surgical Management Team to help us improve how we receive and support patients arriving at hospital outside of normal office hours. We are working hard to resolve the issues around patient records and their storage; I will pass on your comments to the group that review progress on this matter. It is evident that we need to improve our communication and be clearer about what to expect when coming in for surgery so that patients do not feel rushed or unsure of what to do next. It is our aim to get patients home as soon as it is safe to do so but we obviously need to put more thought into this so that patients are equipped with sufficient information to feel prepared and ready to go home. It appears that the ‘pack’ you were given did not address your concerns. I will pass on your comments to inform the next planned review of patient information. We are aware of problems and delays encountered by patients concerning outpatient and follow-up appointments. We recognise that this is not an acceptable level of service and are keen to improve this situation. Again I will share your experience with the team that are looking into this. Thank you again for sharing your experience so that we are able to improve the things that matter to our patients. Kind Regards – Steve Sykes Advice and Complaints Team

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