"The friendliness of the staff ..."

About: University Hospital Of North Tees

(as the patient),

What I liked

The friendliness of the staff that helped me before and after my L4/L5 and L5 /S1 dissectomy operation. The doctors explained the procedure and the nurses were extremely kind in keeping me calm (as like most people I don't like hospitals) whilst I waited for the operation as I had lost the feeling in my left leg. The pros and cons of the operation were spelt out and was kept informed at all stages. The aftercare has been superb from the Spinal Rehabilitation team (physio and spinal nurse who I see on a regular basis). I also appreciated the honesty of my consultant who said that he could make the excruiating pain go away but that it would not be a complete cure - I would experience the occasional niggle/ache afterwards and possible loss of sensation.

What could be improved

I entered the hospital via A & E - where because of a serious event with another patient pain medication was slow in coming as only one person was able to prescribe it. My husband had to chase this up as I was writhing in agony. Also the MRI scan shoud be available 24 hours. When went in they gave me an Xray which showed nothing and I was told I was probably suffering from arthiritis of the spine and was discharged to see my local GP. However when I was helped off the gurney by a Nurse my legs could not support me and I was still after mophine in intense pain. The following morning I had a MRI done which clearly showed two discs protruding - the result being an emergency operation. I was extremely lucky the Consultant tells me as I could have ended up in a wheelchair. My thanks go to that Nurse in A&E who knew something was still wrong and went back to the Doctor. But if the Doctor had had access to the right equipment he would have been able to make a correct diagnosis. It seems daft to me that this equipment is in the hospital but it is not used after 5pm - all the equipment should be available for use 24 hours a day.

Anything else?

A superb service - with the exception of one or two hiccups (as mentioned above; the nurse not putting the buzzer on the bed so I had to get out of bed to press buzzer on wall to summon nurse to go to toilet after which I collapsed - however did prove I could walk! ). Some nurses were more caring than others but at times they were short staffed due to illness and there fore probably had an excuse.

Not a fan of mixed wards but when you are ill you just want to get better.

The biggest thanks though goes to the anthetist who when he put me under whispered to me what my husband always says when I go to sleep - I drifted off with a massive smile on my face - things like that are above and beyond what is expected and all I can say is that the operating team are definitely the caring profession. From above to just holding my hand.

Only gripe if I have one was the cost/reliability of the TV/Phone. Also whilst I was in they were constantly going down and you were unable to phone anyone. The ward staff were great and would let me ring home from the main desk phone once a day. Hopefully it won't be long before you can take your mobile in.

I

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Responses

Response from University Hospital Of North Tees

Dear Joanne

Thank you very much for your comments. We will pass them on to the teams in orthopaedics and accident and emergency. It is good to have your positive comments but also very helpful to hear what we could have done better because it means we can improve things for future patients. Thanks once again for the taking the time to leave your comments on NHS Choices.

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