"East Surrey Hospital saved my life....again."

About: East Surrey Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as the patient),

3 weeks ago I got out of bed and collapsed. I could not stand up, felt ill and breathless. A 999 call I received prompt assessment at home from paramedics at SECAMB who suspected I had pneumonia as my oxygen and BP were low. I was blue-lighted to A&E and scared. This was my second time in six months with a critical illness, and although my treatment was excellent I was left with fear and flashbacks about being in ICU.

I investigated and treated in Resuscitation, where I recall being less than a 'good patient'. I was scared and agitated and the staff understood this, did nothing without a clear explanation and consent, and I thank them for their kind, yet firm advice delivered in a way that I eventually gave in.

It was established that I had severe pneumonia and acute kidney injury and was admitted to HDU. I required continual oxygen, fluids and iv antibiotics and yet the nursing staff remembered me and despite inserting lines and catheter always took the time to re-assure me, talk to me and again I felt in a safe pair of hands.

I required a further few uncomfortable days in Capel Ward where I had a side room. Despite feeling unwell and exhausted the staff did everything they could to inform me of my progress. It is amazing how many interactions and things are done to you in hospital, yet almost all staff treated me with compassion, warmth and empathy. The staff seemed happy and the ward organised, clean and professional. I was not just an arm to have my BP taken!

My only criticism is of the food. Unfortunately it has not improved. Maybe it is just not to my taste but this is so important to health. It was delivered with a smile by the amazing ward domestic supervisor who always made me smile.

I am making a slow but steady recovery. My GP was asked to review me after my discharge and this joined up care demonstrated the NHS at its best. I even feel my fear from my previous stay has disappeared, and this I feel is due to the professional, compassionate and holistic care that helped me and my family cope with a distressing and traumatic situation right from the paramedics, A&E, HDU, Capel Ward staff and my GP.

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Response from Ian Mackenzie, Director of Information and Facilities, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

picture of Ian Mackenzie

Dear psychutch

Thank you for posting such positive comments about your recent stay in East Surrey. I'm sorry though that you didn't like the food and I would be interested in your more detailed thoughts about this if you'd care to share them. If so please can you e-mail me at ian.mackenzie@sash.nhs.uk

Many thanks


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Update posted by psychutch (the patient)

Dear Ian,

Thank you for your response, and for taking an interest in improving patient experience and quality at East Surrey Hospital. I am making a slow but steady recovery and I will email you directly as I hope that my experience can be used to improve care.

Many thanks,