"Outstanding care, united team of experienced..."
About: Arrowe Park Hospital Arrowe Park Hospital Wirral CH49 5PE
Three months in Ward 30 showed me how brilliantly-served haematology patients are in Wirral. We are privileged to have such a wonderful service on our doorstep, from sensitive diagnosis through thorough treatment to comprehensive follow-up. The priority was always to give the necessary time to explain what my condition meant, to give a detailed description of the treatment I needed and to share possible outcomes. When cancer is a subject some might wish to shy away from, the open-ness of staff and willingness to talk through all aspects, not only with me but also with my family, was greatly appreciated. Every stage of treatment was then explained, and I felt involved and consulted on each aspect of it. I felt reassured by the way in which this treatment was developed in video-conferences with other centres in the North West; even though I trusted our own hospital staff implicitly, the involvement of other professionals gave added confidence. As a patient, I was treated with huge respect. For example, details of blood readings were shared, and I was encouraged to follow and track these. This was therapeutic as I was able to see how chemo-therapy drugs affected different parts of the blood, and could then plot their return to normal as the body responded. Staffing levels were good, allowing me, for example, to be accompanied by a ward nurse down to the theatre when necessary. This was very reassuring as I was feeling particularly ill at that time, so it was great to have her there, and entirely appropriate that she showed real understanding and compassion for me as she knew me by then. All staff on the ward worked brilliantly well together. The consultants greeted the cleaners by name and all worked together without the constraints of an overt hierarchical structure. For example, my own consultant came round serving tea one day, because he knew the ward staff were in need of help at that particular moment. The whole team worked closely and very effectively together, for example, on ward round, when cancer specialist nurses, who were very highly skilled, seemed to have an equal voice with other professionals. The presence of, for example, a consultant pharmacist on the ward round added to the comprehensive discussions in which I was always included. The facilities of the ward were well-used and well-maintained. Rooms were cleaned thoroughly every day, more than once, since it was so important to keep them clear of infection. The standard of food was very good, with daily menu choices of a wide range of food which was significantly better than most institutional fare. I was allowed to continue my day-job when fit enough, using my laptop and communicating through email. This helped keep me to recover. Above all, staff were so personable and caring, at the time and since my treatment ended. When I return for those check-ups, so far all reassuring, I feel as if I am meeting old friends again. Many thanks, Ward 30, for a job so well done!