"I wish I could have been put in the picture"

About: Wycombe Hospital / General surgery

(as the patient),

On Tuesday I had a procedure at the Day Surgery Unit at Wycombe Hospital. The consultant as advised on my letter was Jose Mullerat. The operation was a fistulotomy, following the same or similar procedure that was carried out on last year at at Stoke Mandeville through A&E.

The surgeon who visited me at bedside prior to the operation was "someone on his team" whose name I did not quite catch. This man and I agreed that the operation was exploratory and decisions would have to be made once I was under anaesthetic and the surgeon could see the problem.

I accepted this situation, but I wish I could have been put in the picture once I was conscious again--a follow-up appointment in two weeks time (where? with which surgeon on the team? ) is a long time to wait. Providing the patient with a discharge summary written on the second sheet of NCR paper with a felt-tip pen is next to useless. I want to know what is happening in my body. I am 75. My brain works fairly well. The problem could be lasting the rest of my life, and that means I should be making decisions to cope with the problems that occur between more operations in the future.

If I have to bend down to pick something off the floor I know the citon is going to scratch the scar. Slight arthritis makes it difficult to bend down in the first place.

Passing a motion means excessive time in the bathroom including washing the area thoroughly afterward and getting dry again. Taking Laxido does not lead to a specific single time of day for a motion to occur.

I never expected that I would have to wear sanitary towels on a 24/7 basis--and I was a woman who was glad to see the menopause 25 years ago.

Travel has been limited. A weekly trip to a supermarket 6 miles from my home is a big thing, even if I can drive myself. As for getting out for pleasure, it is not an option.

My household includes my husband who needs medical care (possibly for dementia, definitely for deafness) who won't go to a doctor, and an unmarried daughter who occasionally suffers from night-time epileptic fits.

In the light of all these problems (which it is far easier to write out than to remember at a consultation), I wish that some arrangements could be made for a member of the surgical team to speak with a patient following the surgery, even if that meant a phonecall to the patient's home late in the afternoon.

After all these complaints I should like to give a big thank you to the staff on the ward. They were friendly and as helpful as their rules allowed them to be. They didn't all know exactly what part of my body my operation had occurred in, but they were sympathetic and empathetic once they knew.

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Response from Anthony Banton, Patient Experience Manager, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear Responder

I am sorry to learn that your experience of patient care has resulted in you not being totally satisfied. Please contact me on my direct telephone number-01494734481 to discuss your experience and how I may be able to help to improve the situation.

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Response from Anthony Banton, Patient Experience Manager, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear Responder

thank you for your telephone call and the clarification of how I can help. I have forwarded you details to the day surgery matron with the suggestions you have made and I expect you to receive a call from him by the middle of next week.

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