"The friendliness and helpfulness ..."

About: Northampton General Hospital (Acute)

(as the patient),

What I liked

The friendliness and helpfulness of the domestic staff. They kept the ward spotless, which gave me a sense of trust. The hard working nurses who were sinking under the workload and remained cheerfull despite their stress.

What could be improved

The ward was very busy. The hospital, I believe was very short of beds and as such, despite waiting 4 hours at home until a bed was confirmed, I considered myself fortunate to have my operation on the day it was planned. There was also sickness in the staff group, I believe. A large percentage of the patients on the ward were not gynae but medical patients, some elderly and confused. With all these factors combined, the staff over stretched and unable to complete basic things in a timely way. The most distressing one for me was having to wait for prescribed pain killers for up to two hours at a time on a number of occassions, as the nurse allocated to the medication round kept being called away to do other more pressing tasks. By which point following abdominal surgery it took along time for the pain relief to become effective. My wound broke down before I left the ward, with associated bleeding I had to ask 3 people and over an hour before someone would look at it. This was then the nurse doing the pills! It took the wound 6 weeks to completely heal due to an infection. The scanner used to test bladder functioning I believe was to blame for this. As it is taken from person to person and the gell and scanner are directly onto the wound itself. I asked to be dischared a day before my expected discharge date as at home I was able to at least keep pain controlled whereas in hospital, despite the best intentions of the overworked nurses, they were unable to do.

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