"Reassuring treatment for emergency burst appendix"

About: Northampton General Hospital (Acute)

I;ve recently spent 5 nights in NGH following a very messy burst appendix.

During a stay like that it's very easy to spot where things could be done better and there are certainly a number of things that would improve it no end.

But - arriving at 1pm in a very poor state, I was in surgery by 4pm.

The team handling the surgery were friendly, informative and reassuring in an extremely frightening situation.

The surgery seems to have gone well and the nurses providing the aftercare were generally friendly and very hardworking.

Ultimately, a hospital is not a hotel.

It's going to be loud, uncomfortable at times and you won't always get what you want the minute you want it.

In terms of areas of improvement I would say:- 1. Food - so much waste!

Portions massive even if you request a small portion.

Why not serve a small portion as the norm with the ability to ask for a larger one, it would save so much wasted food.

Also although a number of choices, very stodgy - mainly pasta with heavy meat sauces and baked potatoes.

More nourishing soups and fresh vegetables would be so much better.

So - half the quantity, double the quality.

2. Attitude - some training is needed on attitude.

The majority of staff were lovely but there were a small minority who seemed to view the patients as an inconvenience. The difference in attitude between different staff members was very noticeable and they happy, helpful staff made such a difference to the atmosphere on the ward.

I'd like to particularly highlight a nurse who was a delight.

3. Discharge - I was sent away with no advice other than about pain killers.

No advice about how long it might take me to recover, when I can resume driving, how long I can expect my stomach to be swollen.

Having been told at 8am I was being discharged, by 9am they had turfed me out into a 'waiting room' which seemed to be a stationery cupboard, and had an engineer mending a food trolley in the middle of it.

I appreciate they need the beds but it was all very quick and a bit disorientating.

Having said that I went in with a potentially life threatening condition and am now home and recovering - surely that is the main priority of a hospital and in that respect I have no complaints at all.

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Responses

Response from Head of Patient Experience & Engagement, Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust

Thank you Karen for providing such a comprehensive review of the care you received whilst staying with us at Northampton General Hospital. Your experience is extremely important to us and we are pleased to hear that for the most part, your experience was a positive one. Please accept our apologies for not providing you with the information you needed at discharge, we are a busy hospital but we are still responsible for ensuring you have the information you need before leaving us. I will ensure your feedback is passed on to our ward teams, and also our catering department who are always looking to improve the mealtime experience.

Thanks again, and we wish you a speedy recovery.