"The nursing care was exceptional"
About: Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford) / General surgery Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford) General surgery EX2 5DW
Posted by HazelR (as ),
I spent a total of 3 weeks on two wards at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital with another 3 weeks in the middle having surgery at another hospital. The nursing care I received on both Exe and Mere was exceptional. I always knew who was looking after me. I felt that my comfort and needs took priority over ward routine and I was rarely kept waiting to have any request dealt with. My medication was delivered on time and I was kept pain free. This really is nursing as it should be and the culture across these wards is brilliant. I can't thank you enough for this. The teamwork is fantastic across everyone, from the matron who happily dealt with my sick bowl to lovely Mandy the cleaner who gave me a hug when she caught me feeling low. Housekeeping are really part of the care team - please don't outsource them whatever you do! I also benefitted from a specialist nurse who plays a brilliant coordinating role and acts as a central source of information. It is very reassuring for the whole family to have this contact and he also spent time talking with one of my friends who was distressed about my illness.
There are improvements that could be made. Discharge and admission procedures in particular are inefficient. I arrived the first time at 6pm but was awoken at 2. 30am by the Dr who carried out the admission procedure and inserted a cannula. The second time I came in at 3pm to be admitted by the Dr waking me at 5am the next day and asking me lots of questions while I was half asleep. Discharges, including my own, were always delayed for many hours waiting for pharmacy with quite elderly people being discharged very late in the day as a result. There is clearly an issue here which the hospital must be aware of. The other issue for me was the difficulty while in a bay of being able to talk to a Dr with any privacy. They did meet my request some of the time but only by using a Drs mess room where there were interruptions.
I do recommend that anyone who like me might need occupational therapy aids on their return home asks to see an OT before leaving hospital. I was so pleased that I did this as the OT was able to prescribe perching stools, a commode and a back rest for the bed that my family could pick up locally and have in place for my return home. This made life so much easier and helped me retain more independence. I don't think the nursing staff would have suggested this themselves but they were happy to facilitate it when I asked.
Please feel reassured if you are to spend time in these wards that the care is second to none.