"Excellent surgery but very poor post op care for..."
About: Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford) Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford) Exeter EX2 5DW http://www.rdehospital.nhs.uk/
My 19 year old daughter has just had bimaxillary surgery to realign her jaw. This meant she had her jaw wired shut following the procedure and was very swollen. The surgery itself looks very successful but our problems have been in the care post op. There was a real lack of understanding of her needs, she was unable to speak and had to write down any communication. I have pages and pages of her notes telling me she didn't feel safe and no one was listening to her. A lack of consistency with the staff and poor communication meant that there appeared to be a lot of staff around the ward - mostly at the desk, there was little patient focus. My daughter felt she was just a number and no one really cared how she was feeling or what she needed. She was left without fluids or pain relief for up to 5 hours, then hi calorie drinks were left out of reach and made too thick for her to use the straws to try and drink. The nurses presumed she didn't want them, yet she actually couldn't reach them, couldn't swallow and no one took the time to show her or help her. It was a good job I could spend the time with her as on several occasions I arrived to find her very distressed. At one point her oxygen was turned down without telling her first - she was struggling to breath and couldn't understand what was happening. Whenever I raised concerns or tried to explain how she was feeling I was either told ' I've worked here for 17 years and know what I'm doing' or simply ' she'll be fine' . Very poor communication and a complete lack of genuine care. There were of course a handful of very very good caring individuals but they were in the minority.