"Better communication would make a big difference"

About: Airedale General Hospital / General surgery

(as the patient),

I had varicous vein surgery and, as it was a new procedure, was told I would receive a general anaesthetic. Actually on the day I was given the option of a local anaesthetic with a sedative. If I had been informed early I would not have had to fast. I would have like a sedative. I discussed this with the anaesthetist but when we went to theatre no more was said about the sedative and the anaesthetist went for a coffee. I had the operation without a sedative. After an hour and a half in surgery I was quite anxious and would have preferred to have not been so conscious.

Whilst in theatre the nurse - who was very pleasant - used my torso to rest the note clipboard on which I would have preferred her not to do.

On leaving the theatre I by-passed the recovery ward and went straight back to the day ward. Later on I was in pain as the anaesthetic wore off but could not have even a paracetomol straight away because they had not been written up. I felt quite sick and feint with pain whilst nurses obtained a prescription.

Upon discharge I was given information about when to remove the bandage and steri strips, but when I asked if I should leave the wound dressings in place was told there were none, as they were not recorded in my notes. I did point out that as I was conscious I actually saw three of them being applied! However, the nurse insisted they were not there. When I did remove the crepe bandage I had to ring the hospital to ask how to proceed with the wound dressings which were caked in blood as I was nervous of re-opening the wound.

Finally, although the discharge information states a follow up in 6 weeks I was given an initial appointment 12 weeks later.

Sadly, I feel this may be a fairly typical experience where a little better communication would have made a big difference.

The ward was clean and bright and all the staff amenable, but things could have been better.

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Response from Airedale General Hospital

We are sorry to read of your dissatisfaction with the care and treatment you received during your visit for surgery in November and your comments have been passed to the surgical team. We would value the opportunity to discuss your experience in person and encourage you to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 10535 294019.

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