"Wonderful nurses, shame about the food"
About: Leicester General Hospital Leicester General Hospital Leicester LE5 4PW
Posted by Michele
I spent four nights on Ward 31 after a total abdominal hysterectomy and sacrocolpopexy, I elected to have this surgery but was extremely anxious due to a traumatic hospital stay (different hospital) 34 years ago when I gave birth. I have also been waiting 5 months since referral. I have never had even minor surgery since, avoided doctors and was full of fear and apprehension. The counsellor has helped me a lot, in the lead up to my surgery and I think it's wonderful that a counselling service is available to patients. Overall, the pre and post operative care has completely altered my opinion and feelings about hospital care. My surgeon inspired me with confidence and I felt complete trust (although I was questioning him until the last minute). Staff on ward 11, pre-op were very kind and reassuring, It really helped having visited the ward previously, with the counsellor and knowing what to expect. From the moment I awoke on ward 31 I felt safe and cared for. The kindness, encouragement and gentle humour of the nurses was exactly what I needed to help me recover. I felt I was treated with dignity and respect. I knew exactly what to expect and why they were asking me to do certain things. (The first time they made me get out of bed I just wanted to be left alone to die and expressed this very loudly!! but we were able to laugh about it later.) the bed was really comfortable and the ward had a very jolly atmosphere. It felt like there was the right balance of care and encouragement to be independent. It felt relaxed and friendly and the way the patients helped and supported each other was lovely. The only small negatives were; one inexperienced doctor who needed to put down their file and reassure me when I was in pain and panicking when being asked to walk for the first time, rather than asking me what drugs I needed, Unclear decision- making about my discharge (Saturday deferred to Sunday) and what actually constitutes a bowel movement which my discharge was dependent on. Finally, the food: too much sugar, pork gelatine in the chocolate mousse, inedible shepherds pie, processed cheese, no natural yoghurt. Luckily I had a steady supply of food from family and I'm pleased the rules were relaxed over not eating in bed. Finally just a huge thank you to the nursing staff for making my stay such a positive experience in the most painful of circumstances. I feel I have overcome my worst fears.