"emergency admission and surgical repair of arm"

About: St Helier Hospital

In writing this review I felt a significant degree of ambivalence as very grateful for the compassion and expertise of many staff that helped me at this frightening and uncertain time. I should also disclose that I am a Consultant doctor within NHS. To start with the positives - I have no concerns with the process of assessment right from ambulance crew (appreciate they are different organisation), A and E, Anaesthetist or surgical team. I believe that they arrived at timely diagnosis and stabilised my pain and condition very capably as far as I could tell. I also have no reason to doubt the hard work and expertise of the doctor and surgical team who I believe spent 5 hours in surgery doing the necessary open reduction and internal fixation. I am indebted.There were also several kind and caring nursing staff on Frank Dees ward where was treated for few days. Unfortunately I cannot whole heartedly recommend St Heliers Hospital on the basis of my admission because of some serious concerns. These included getting caught in the middle of a clear spat between a senior radiographer and surgical team. Radiographer complained about my team whilst I was having my X-ray done and this felt as a patient and doctor rather unprofessional and certainly not patient- centred. She even asked me to get them to ring her as she was not happy that they had not answered bleeps or something! Other issues included some serious lack of care on the ward. Examples include a nurse threatening man in bed next to me that if did not take all painkillers now they would refuse him any painkillers all night. There was also a man opposite me who clearly could not feed himself the egg sandwich by his bed. He asked my dad to help which he did but when my dad let nurse know she told us he has learning difficulties. Apart from the obvious breech of confidentiality that would be all the more reason to provide assistance regarding his basic needs such as getting a meal. Communication was also extremely poor and will try to provide some examples. When I came home from hospital I received a letter inviting me to an outpatient urology appointment at which point my catheter would be removed even though my catheter was removed in hospital. I also felt discharge planning was poor with an F1 (new doctor) explaining my Xray was fine and could go home but when I asked about how should manage my arm, how would be followed up etc he told me if had questions would be discharged tomorrow. This seemed very odd as surely the surgical team would want to make sure a patient had this kind of information before they left and think team should consider a discharge protocol for new doctors if this does not already exist as appreciate senior staff often in theatre etc. My overall rating is that I could not recommend it due to significant communication issues, sense that no holistic perspective of person, poor multi-disciplinary working and some serious incidents of threatening/neglectful behaviour

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Response from St Helier Hospital

Thank you very much for your balanced feedback; this is greatly appreciated. If possible, we would really like to discuss your observations in more detail. To allow us to do so, could I please ask you to get in touch with our Patient Advice and Liasion Service (PALS) on 020 8296 2508 or email pals@esth.nhs.uk? Many thanks, Ruth Charlton Joint Medical Director

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