"The whole admissions experience was disgusting"

About: William Harvey Hospital

I recently accompanied someone to surgical admissions. The admission time was 7. 30. There was no greeting or information given. The waiting room was bare with only two pathetic magazines. The preliminaries were done and we were eventually moved to another waiting area with a cubical and yet more (uncomfortable) chairs. This patient was in pain and found sitting for any length of time let alone in the NHS idea of a chair more than uncomfortable. The patient, already terrified, was to wait another 3 hours + until going to the theatre. With no distraction, watching the wall, the stress mounted as did the blood pressure. This was seen as normal prior to admission. This sorry tale concluded with the patient being sent home due to the high blood pressure latterly recorded. Staff were polite and reasonably friendly. All stood by absolutes of procedure. No beds prior to theatre, no pre med to relax anxious patients, cold unattractive surroundings, long waits in the said, cold and uncomfortable surroundings. No acknowledgement was given that patients are individuals with very different responses to stress and levels of disabilty. No ongoing reassurance / comfort offered. There was a real feeling of isolation, with staff in preoccupied in their world to the exclusion of their patients. I found the experience chilling and inhumane. The operation may not have had to be cancelled if the admissions protocols actually involved the human element and not a bureaucratic "throughput" strategy. The whole admissions experience was disgusting. Surely, even within the current NHS limitations improvements could be made. We are due to return, something to be dreaded, this, quite apart from the ordeal of surgery.

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