"Poor start to my hospital experience"

About: East Lancashire Teaching PCT

(as the patient),

I was due to have surgery last week but on the day I was to be admitted there were no beds available.

I was told to return in the morning at 7am and report to SADU (Surgical Admissions Unit). This meant getting up at 5am but I was at the hospital just before 7am. Looking for SADU on the board confused me as it was not there. Where should I go? The security guard suggested Surgical Triage.

When I got there all was in darkness except for the corridor. A notice said to use the telephone if the desk was unattended. This I did. A staff nurse answered but sounded half asleep and was not at all helpful. I wasn't 100% sure that I was in the right place and knew that I was first on the list for my surgeon.

My wife and I decided we would have to wait so sat in the darkened waiting room. Other patients began to arrive so we all sat in the dark! A person passed through and said that the staff there didn't begin work until 7am. As it was now past 7 we were not impressed. Someone did arrive at about 7.15 but I was told that the person dealing with my admission had not arrived yet and I should sit and wait.

I was still sitting and waiting at 7.45, getting worried as I had been told that the theatre list began about 8.30am.

Eventually it was sorted and I had my operation but it was a very poor start. Does this situation occur on a daily basis? Patients arriving for surgery are in a heightened state of anxiety and having them sit in a dark room with no staff there to greet them I think is not the way to in still them with confidence.

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