"Really positive experience in every respect"

About: Royal Cornwall Hospital (Treliske)

The whole team that I met were superb throughout my treatment and although pre-arrival I was concerned by media reports of problems ranging from the 'Mitie' contract; financial difficulties; and cross infection problems, my treatment was exemplary. In an era when concerns about hospital cleanliness and hygiene are important, I was delighted to see all staff washing hands, using gloves, wiping down blood-pressure measuring and other monitoring kit between patients. The reassuring approach taken by the consultant surgeon, anaesthetist, and their teams meant that everything was explained in detail. I was guided by their ideas but decisions were left to me. The whole nursing team were really considerate and helpful, as were the ancillary nurses, the porters, cleaners and the catering team. I really felt that they were working to put the patient’s interests first. I have two possibly critical suggestions (which I offer constructively) 1. There is an increase in anxiety levels created by the process of phoning to check bed availability on the day of admission. I understand why this happens and of course emergency admissions must be prioritised. When a patient reorganises their life to make space for your own urgent admission, it is very frustrating to be advised that ‘your bed’ is no longer available – only for a later call to confirm that a bed had been found. I’m sure that this on/off admission process must create further knock-on resource-wasting problems as theatre teams and slots are booked, cancelled, then booked again. 2. Your current ‘check, double-check and triple-check +++’ paper record system could (relatively) easily be transferred to a single modified admissions form which could be completed by the patient before admission and then cross-checked at each stage by the relevant staff (with patient) and updated electronically, saving hours of staff time. Any supplementary specialist area questions and responses can then be added to the original form. At present this form is created by a nurse in the initial receiving ward. As a patient is passed on to a new ward, the same questions are re-asked and a new sheet created. This process is repeated with the surgical team’s paperwork and repeated again with the anaesthetist, with many of the same questions. Whilst giving reassurance to a patient that checks & double checks were being made, prior to any surgical intervention, I’m sure the same reassurance could come with much less paperwork if an alternative (electronic?) system was introduced. My memory of in-patient life in Treliske (October 2010 with incisional cellulitis) was poor and I entered with some trepidation on this occasion. I am now delighted to note that there has been a huge improvement in the patient experience over these 5 years. In conclusion, let me pass on sincere thanks to your staff for all their expertise, professionalism and support, an opinion which I shall certainly share with others in our Cornish community.

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