"Unnerving experience!"

About: Leighton Hospital

I had my pre-op appointment today on Ward 11 and having been put at ease about my condition and procedure by the consultant, the pre-op nurse has filled me with terror today and I now am considering not having the procedure, potentially putting my life at risk. I arrived at Ward 11 reception desk, where I was ignored for 15 minutes by passing staff who seemed rushed off their feet in what can only be described as a makeshift day case area. After asking several people, I was asked to fill in a booklet and take a seat in the pre-op waiting area, clearly signed on the door. The waiting area was clearly an old, disused office with old, tatty, uncomfortable furniture, an abandoned printer etc. this was also where relatives could wait for hours while their loved ones are in surgery. When the appointment was made I was told I would need to provide a urine sample at the appointment, so I had not been to the toilet. When I asked about this, I was told the info was wrong and did not need to provide one. I then asked to use the toilet and was told no, to go back downstairs to main entrance! I waited in the designated room for 1 hour after my appointment time had passed and went to look for someone. I was promptly told off for not bringing my form back (which I was not told to do) and the nurse had been looking for me! Apologies from me for waiting in the pre-op waiting area for a pre-op appointment! There was no apology for my appointment being 1 hour late. The worst part was the pre-op appointment,it started by the nurse yawning repeatedly and telling me they had not had a lunch break. The nurse only gets 10 minutes as it is and because they have to see us pre-op appointments, they don't get any! The nurse did not have my correct paperwork so had no idea why I was there. Their office was piled high with papers, files, clutter, a horrendous environment. the nurse then made phone calls about other patients in front of me during my appointment! They also made a telephone call about me but used the wrong name. Despite the risks being clearly explained by the consultant at my previous appointment, they then proceeded to tell me of other painful and dangerous things that may happen to me in the mean time while waiting for the operation and also during and after. None of which were ones the consultant mentioned. All of these were in graphic detail, with diagrams. There was not one word of reassurance or bedside manner, the whole experience was negative, they almost mocked my responses to their questions and now I am absolutely terrified of having the procedure and my health in the meantime. Even though I am a young, professional I felt patronized and unnerved during the whole appointment. I am dreading having to go back there. I was then sent all over the hospital for blood tests and an ECG, which I then had to return back up onto the ward. In this day and age, is that really necessary! Really disappointing!

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Leighton Hospital

Thank you for posting your experience within the Pre-operative Assessment Clinic and your subsequent observations on NHS Choices. I am extremely concerned to hear how your experiences have affected your confidence in relation to your imminent surgery. Please do not hesitate to contact me on 01270-273800 to discuss this further. In the meantime, please be assured that the matters raised by yourself are being looked into. Sandra Glover, Matron.

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