"I chose to come to Harrogate for ..."

About: Harrogate District Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

I chose to come to Harrogate for my knee replacement operation because of the excellent overall ratings and the very positive comments by most patients on this site. I was not disappointed! I was apprehensive at the thought of being awake during the knee replacement op. I needn't have worried, I took an ipod with me with recordings from the Radio 4 comedy show, "I'm Sorry I haven't a Clue" and spent the whole of my time giggling. My fears were totally unfounded. The operation has been extremely successful and where I was unable to walk, or even sit, without pain. I can now walk miles and even attend the gym 3 days a week. There was one setback: whilst recovering in the Swaledale Ward (staff were excellent!) I had a visit from a doctor who told me that I had had a heart attack. I couldn't believe this but it was picked up from blood tests. My only symptoms were extreme tiredness and a feeling of nausea. I was then taken to the cardiac unit for observation for several days. The heart attack was not really surprising since I am extremely overweight and 71 years of age.

The Cardiac Unit was magnificent. I witnessed an emergency incident which was absolutely breath-taking in its efficiency. Over and successfully completed in a few minutes.

After recuperation in the Cardiac Unit I was given instructions to make an appointment for an angiogram then returned to the Wensleydale ward for the remainder of my knee recovery and physiotherapy.

What could be improved

My experiences in the Wensleydale Ward were not as good as those from Swaledale and the Cardiac Unit. However, Wensleydale ward was a very busy ward and I found that trying to get occasional, essential help from the nursing staff was extremely difficult. I think there are two reasons for this; the first reason is that the type of patients (who seemed to be mainly injured rather than sick) were quite lively and demanding of attention from the nursing staff.

The second reason was that the majority of the younger nursing staff were very young and not yet fully mature in their approach to the job. They seemed to be more interested in discussing their social lives than helping patients, however it must be said that this situation was exacerbated by too much demand from some patients.

Anything else?

I am extremely pleased that I chose to go to Harrogate for my operation and found the whole experience to be excellent. I am totally filled with admiration for most of the staff with whom I came into contact. There is no doubt that their attitude to work is vocational - they are very special people of a type with whom we rarely come into contact during our day to day lives.

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Responses

Response from Harrogate District Hospital

Thank you very much for your feedback, which is extremely valuable to us.

We are pleased that you felt you had such high quality care, which is what we always strive for. Our staff should always be as responsive as possible to patients' needs and whilst I am pleased that this was the case on Swaledale ward and in the Coronary Care Unit, I am sorry that you found your experience of Wensleydale ward less satisfying. We are always working hard to imporve the care we give and patient feedback is a crucial part of that process.

Thank you again for your comments.

Chris Watt

Head of Communications

Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust

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