"The Professor and the Vascular Surgery Team are..."

About: Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Birmingham)

My Dad had a complicated operation that he was lucky to survive due to complications encountered during surgery.

I believe that it is only because of the skill, expertise and knowledge of the Professor and their surgical team that my Dad is here today.

Staff in Critical Care Area B were totally amazing and being around them whilst they cared for my father so well, was truly humbling. Each nurse we dealt with in Critical Care was not only a credit to their profession but also to the hospital.

Ward 517 was not without faults, a nurse with a streaming cold around my father seemed rather odd bearing in mind he was highly susceptible to infections especially a chest infection.

The inflatable mattress he was on at first was faulty and deflated causing discomfort for a day that was unnecessary.

The ward were inflexible over visiting times.

On one day my father's dressing was not changed as per Professor's explicit instruction that it should have been done daily.

The first meal given of pie and chips for a person with artery disease and only on soft foods, had to be left untouched, no alternative was offered or provided so he never ate.

No patient recovery leaflets were given on discharge but luckily I found the pdf myself on the QEHB website by sheer luck.

Discharge was appalling.

The adaptations required at home for discharge are still not in place now over a week after discharge such as handrails, identified in the assessment as being necessary.

My father was discharged from hospital at 8.00pm, on a dark, wet November night registering an outside temperature of 1 degree Celsius, so in the rain in a pair of pyjamas with nothing on his feet as Ward 517 'lost' his slippers. The hospital needs a covered area where cars can go under the cover to collect patients denied ambulances to take them home, but who are unable to hardly walk or get in or out of a wheelchair unassisted.

The pick up and drop off zone was so full of empty cars, seemingly there for a while, that I had to park in the ambulance zone so my Dad was minimally exposed to the cold, wet and general elements.

I cannot speak highly enough of the vascular surgery team to whom I feel totally indebted, along with the Critical Care staff who were altogether exemplary.

I feel that the care in ward 517 fell below the high standards experienced when dealing with the Professor and their team and the Critical Care staff.

I was pleased to leave Ward 517 and would not want to be a patient there myself.

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Response from Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback on your father’s recent experience at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. We are delighted to hear that the surgical and Critical Care aspects of his experience were so positive. We are very sorry to hear that you and your father experienced problems whilst on the ward and around the time of his discharge. Senior staff responsible for this area are keen to speak to you directly to understand more about what went wrong. If you are happy to discuss this with us directly please make contact as soon as possible via the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) who will be pleased to put you in touch with the relevant senior staff.

PALS can be contacted by phone 0121 371 3280, by email PALS@uhb.nhs.uk, via the hospital website www.uhb.nhs.uk/pals-form or in person by dropping in between 9am – 5pm (Mon-Fri) to the PALS office located near the Information Desk in the main entrance of the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.

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