"Extraordinary care in trying times"
About: The Royal Marsden Hospital (London) The Royal Marsden Hospital (London) London SW3 6JJ
Posted by Donna Burgess
I'm a huge fan and supporter of the NHS, and am increasingly saddened by what is happening to it. Yet, despite the budget cuts and dubious government policies, The Royal Marsden remains a beacon for how great the NHS really can be: how it is full of people who care, want to help, and strive to do their jobs well.
After four months of various tests, diagnoses and appointments at a different (and somewhat struggling) south London hospital; I was left in the stressful position of needing to choose between 'leave the still-growing, potentially malignant tumour and see what happens' Vs 'have an Op and risk facial paralysis / tumour seeding / all manner of other complications'.
Fortunately a bit research, and more than a smidgeon of luck, led me to being referred to an excellent consultant.
I will be ever grateful for that. His compassion, expertise and professionalism helped me decide upon surgery, helped me manage my anxiety, and helped me have faith that all would be as well as it could be.
Though the wider NHS system may be a bit broken, the treatment I received at TRM was amazing. The staff in the pre-surgery assessment unit were helpful and kind, taking time to answer questions. And in admissions, the team on reception were chatty and friendly, offering a much needed distraction.
Though my Op was pushed back by several hours - as a previous patient needed more care & attention than anticipated - the nurses on the pre-surgery ward kept me up-to-date and kept checking I was OK. The nurse who walked me to the operating theatre was pure kindness.
The anaesthetist took time to explain everything before the Op, and during the anaesthesia. Despite my stratospheric anxiety levels, I felt totally safe in their hands.
Post-Op, the staff in the recovery room and on Wilson Ward looked after me attentively and carefully, despite the obvious staff shortages.
In short, this team and a whole raft of other TRM staff did an amazing job. I'm so thankful for the outcome - tumour gone, post-op issues dealt with, no facial paralysis.
So flipping grateful.