"Children's day surgery dental service"

About: Crosshouse Hospital / Dental Patient Opinion

(as a parent/guardian),

Recently my young daughter had to have teeth removed at the dental day surgery facility. I phoned in advance to explain how her early traumatic experiences (she is adopted after a very difficult early life) had left her very anxious and hyper vigilant. We arrived as instructed just before 9am. We were finally taken at noon. By this time around six other patients who all arrived around the same time were taken before us. By this time my daughter was extremely anxious and nauseous with a sore head (having had to fast without even water from 8 pm the night before).

The whole experience was very scary and prolonged for my child who is now even more terrified of the dentist. My husband and I were told not to leave even for a coffee, which meant we were in a very warm hospital (signs everywhere dictated it was a fasting area and no food or drink was to be consumed) for four and a half hours without as much as a sip of water ourselves. It was a distressing experience for everyone.

We could not understand why it was not possible to:

1) prioritise my child - given her circumstances, to take her quickly on arrival or;

2) phone ( or instruct us to phone before leaving home) at 8. 30 am or so before we left home and tell us to bring her in later in the morning and allow her a small drink of water

3) allow my husband and I to have even a small glass of water (juice and water were available in the recovery ward) or

4) instruct us to bring drinks or snacks for ourselves that we could consume in our car - one of us going out at a time

Given my child's level of anxiety even prior to the day of the operation, we knew this would be a difficult day for us - but it was made so much more anxious, uncomfortable and upsetting by the way things were handled on the day. By the time my child had sat for over three hours worrying about it - she was really distressed by the time we went in for the surgery.

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Responses

Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

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Dear Kenbren99,

I am so sorry this was such a scary and protracted experience for your child. This must have been a day you wish to forget. I am sorry, but I do not have the answers for you but I will pass your post to the team to consider. I really hope being more terrified of the dentist does not have lasting effects (nor on you both). I will come back to you once I have had a chance to speak to the manager.

Best wishes,

Eunice

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Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

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Dear Kenbren99,

I have passed this to the team and in order to look into it for you, the manager would like to know a few more details. I wonder if you could please give me a call or email me.

We would need your daughter’s name, date of birth, your address and the Dentist’s name. If you do want to contact me, you can email me on eunice.goodwin@aapct.scot.nhs.uk or phone me on 01563 826222.

Thank you

Eunice

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Response from NHS Ayrshire and Arran

Dear Kenbren99,

I am sorry for the stress caused to both you as parents and your child. The community dental list is a fast turnaround list which is one reason why we ask parents, either one or both not to leave the premises. It is unusual to be told that you both had to stay. We would usually advise to spell each other for a drink if you require one. Both parents are not required to be with the child at all times. It is difficult to offer every parent on the dental list refreshments as we can have up to 12 children on that list alone plus children on other lists. We do not have the space or resources to do this. I hope this answers some of the issues. If you need any further information please get back to me.

Regards Linda

Linda Gray

Unit Manager

Day Surgery Unit

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Response from NHS Ayrshire and Arran

Dear Kenbren99,

If your child is still anxious about her dental care, there are many ways to help her be more comfortable with it in future. It is worth speaking to your family dentist, to help you through the options.

With kind regards,

Peter Ommer

Clinical Director

Public Dental Services

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Update posted by Kenbren99 (a parent/guardian)

Having had a very disappointing experience of the Dental Day Surgery process for my daughter, I posted on Patient Opinion to feed this back. This was my first ever experience of Patient Opinion and I was not sure what to expect.

I have to say, it has been very positive. Following my post, I had the opportunity to meet with a senior NHS Manager and the Day Surgery Unit Manager to talk in person about my experience. This led to us identifying that my daughter had been missed for an important part of the pre- surgery process and this did appear to have been the crux of why we had such a difficult time on the day.

The opportunity to have my story listened to was much appreciated and as a result, I think this part of the process is to be examined and potentially strengthened.

I am really glad I posted and wanted to thank all staff involved in the Patient Opinion Process for their compassionate and candid responses to my experience.

Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran We have made a change

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Dear Kenbren99,

Thank you so much for letting us know about this, a lovely finale to your story. It truly does show the benefit to the person who posts on PO, NHS Ayrshire and Arran and future patients.

As patients/ service users you are the experts. You can and do highlight areas for us to improve. Posts such as yours also show everyone that we do listen and we can change. In this case, I am glad have agreed to change this pre-surgery process There are many people out there perhaps trying to decide if it will be worthwhile to post on PO, will it make a difference? I think you have shown that it can and does and that makes it all so valuable to us all.

Thank you again for taking the time to help us get things better.

Best wishes,

Eunice

p.s. ‘Service users’- I hate that term but I appreciate it encompasses everyone

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Response from Gina Alexander, Director, Patient Opinion Scotland, Patient Opinion

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Dear Kenbren99,

What a great outcome from such a traumatic story and one which has identified where improvements can be made. This is exactly what we designed Patient Opinion to do and it encourages us immensely when we see it used in this way.

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your story and to Eunice, Linda, Peter and their Ayrshire & Arran colleagues for being prepared to listen and learn.

You've brought a skip to my step today.

Hoping that future trips to the dentist will be infinitely less fraught for your daughter and you.

Warm wishes

Gina

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