"Clinically and organisationally first rate"

I was referred by the NHS to Circle Bath for an investigation of an arthritic knee. My NHS experience was that I waited 6 months to see an orthopaedic surgeon – I then didn't see the orthopaedic surgeon – I saw his senior registrar who took about 3 minutes to examine the knee and told me that nothing could be done at this stage. My Circle Bath experience was that I only waited a week to see an orthopaedic surgeon who examined the joint properly together with the scans that had been done – his attitude was, yes this is something we can fix, when can you come in. I received the impression that the attitude of the NHS was to save money rather than to fix patients. At Circle Bath I felt the preoperative check was thorough, the information given regarding knee surgery was very comprehensive – both the oral presentation and the written material, simple to read and the exercises given were very helpful. My stay was as pleasant as could be expected given surgery – the surroundings were quiet, the nursing and other staff were attentive and competent and apart from the fact that it took me 24 hours to ask some questions of the physiotherapist – I had no complaints. The immediate post-operative care was exemplary – in sharp contrast to the post operative care I received in Southmead Hospital following a radical prostatectomy in 2008 where I counted some 25 things wrong (information supplied if requested). I am sad that there should be such a gap between the standards of a private hospital and that of the NHS which in my direct experience is clinically second-rate and organisationally third-rate. I would recommend Circle Bath to anyone. I should perhaps add that I do not blame anyone in the NHS for poor standards – it is chronically underfunded and we the public need to take more responsibility and pay more for it.

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