"Spinal surgery"

About: Derriford Hospital

I recently had spinal surgery for a second time after a long wait performed by my surgeon and their team. While I have no complaints about the surgery I do have concerns about the after care I received. I went in for op at 09.30 and was not back on the ward until 18.00. The next morning whilst being extremely groggy, a physiotherapist appeared at my bed and did a few little exercises with me. I was in extreme pain which I wasn't asked about. The physiotherapist then said I could go home. I felt rushed to go home. I had just had major surgery and I had an hour and a half car journey to contend with. I had to ask several times for my dressings to be changed. The nurse would agree but then disappear and not come back. Shift changes the nurses are informed but it still isn't done. I had a cleaner around my bed on one occasion. I had bled quite a lot on the actual bed frame and I had to point it out to them as they didn't see it, then wiped with a wet rag, rinsed it out then continued to clean other surfaces with it. The toilets are not to a high standard. Three out of five were out of action. Hope these problems can be sorted as it is not a nice experience.

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Response from Derriford Hospital

Dear Mr Ciotta We are sorry that you were unhappy with your aftercare on Moorgate Ward and had to ask the nurse several times to have your dressings changed. We try not to disturb the dressings as much as we can as this lessens the risk of developing infection. However, if you had wanted your dressing changed it should not require you to ask several times for this to happen and I must apologise on behalf of the nursing team. We are also very sorry that you felt that the toilets were not of a high standard. We are waiting for the estates department to finish refurbishing the 2 toilets that are out of order and are hoping that this work will be completed shortly. We have also reviewed your physiotherapy notes and can see that you were seen on two consecutive days by a physiotherapist. The notes state that you had already got yourself out of bed and were mobilising around the bed space. The Physiotherapist carried out a comprehensive assessment and documented that you were obviously in pain so completed this assessment standing rather than lying as you expressed being in too much pain to lie down. Due to this you were only mobilised a short distance and it was documented that she requested that the nurse administer pain relief to ease symptoms. You were reviewed again by the physiotherapist on the following day and the notes say that you had already been mobilising around ward and hospital independently. Due to this you were assessed on the stairs and discharged with a referral to outpatient physiotherapy for progression of exercises, which you were happy with at that time. We have also spoken to members of the domestic staff explaining what happened regarding the cleaning of your bed and refreshed them on the correct cleaning procedures. The domestic staff are not allowed to touch any bodily fluid as that should be the responsibility of the nursing staff. Please accept our apologies that you were not happy with your care and I hope the above fully answers your concerns. Kind regards Liam Gallagher Directorate Support Manager

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