"There are no words to express my gratitude"

About: Raigmore Hospital / Gynaecology

(as the patient),

I attended Raigmore for a colposcopy, following 2 abnormal smear results. This was my first experience and needless to say, I was very worried. I need not have been. The colposcopist and her team put me at immediate ease. Before the procedure, the doctor told me what they would do and told me I had the option of being treated there and then or awaiting the biopsy results and then having treatment if the biopsy suggested it was needed. All risks were explained to me in plain English. I opted to have the treatment there and then.

During the procedure, everything that the colposcopist was doing in there was explained to me as she was doing it. Unfortunately though, because of the location of the abnormality, it was not possible for me to have treatment on that day as I would require a general anesthetic. I told the Dr that I was due to get married in a couple of months and thereafter planned to be away for honeymoon, my first time abroad. I explained that I was worried re the recovery time if I would be able to consummate my marriage or enjoy my first time abroad in the sea etc, obviously acknowledging that this is the NHS and they will fit me in when they can. The Dr did explain that due to time constraints it was unlikely they could fit me in and have me recovered for my wedding, so I advised her that I would rather leave the surgery until after my wedding/honeymoon. I fully understood that this was my choice and that I was taking a risk. The Dr could have given me a lecture about my health being more important and she'd had been absolutely right in doing so - but she did not; she was compassionate and understanding. This was a hard choice for me to make as I am by nature a worrier and my fiance was very worried also and just wanted to make sure I was ok.

Two weeks after the procedure, I called the Dr's secretary for the results as I was very anxious. My own Dr was on leave but instead of making me wait months for the procedure (when I was back from honeymoon), they fitted me in for a couple of weeks as they had, had a cancellation. Now, the Dr secretary could not have been more helpful or reassuring, she was very good at her job.

I attended for the procedure and had my Dr's co-worker (my Dr was on leave I think) perform it. From my admittance until I left day case, the staff could not have been more caring. The Dr spoke to me before and after the procedure and explained everything in a clear, concise way. The nurses had a wonderful bedside manner and I left that place feeling confident that if I had any problems or concerns whatsoever, I could phone them.

I never needed to phone. I seem to be recovering just fine from the surgery. But that's not the end of the story. I was told 4 weeks before the results from the lab would be in. By the time the hospital wrote to me, I knew I would be away, likely. Well, it hadn't quite been four weeks when I got my letter from Raigmore and I can now go enter into my marriage without having this worry hanging over my head. I don't know if they hurried up the results, rushed the correspondence or if me hearing early was just luck - but either way I am very appreciative indeed.

From start to finish, this process was person centered, which is the way care should be. Thank you for treating me like the human being that I am and not just a number on a production line. There are no words which can express my gratitude for that. Please pass my regards and my sincerest thanks on to all involved. Hopefully I won't be seeing you in 6 months time - no disrespect of course!

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Response from Linda Kirkland, Interim Director of Operations, Raigmore Hospital, NHS Highland

Hello strc. I delighted that you had such a positive experience and that everything worked out so well. Thank you for taking the time to feedback I will make sure the team receive your comments

I am sure that with this worry removed you must be very relieved. All the very best for your married life.

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Response from Elaine Mead, Chief Executive, NHS Highland


I would like to add my thanks to Linda's for you taking the time to share your experience on Patient Opinion. We do not always get things as right as we would like but I am pleased that your experience was so positive. Have a wonderful marriage.

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Update posted by STRC (the patient)

You are very welcome. People are quick to complain when things don't work out the way they expected but I think that it's a two way street and credit should always be given where it is due. In my case, all staff went above and beyond to ensure that my experience was positive and handled me sensitively.