"Minor surgical procedure"

About: Borders General Hospital / General Surgery NHS Scotland

(as the patient),

I was admitted for a planned biopsy which required a general anaesthetic. The procedure should take about 10 minutes.

Firstly the good things - staff were excellent, took my concerns on board, put me in a side room for the day due to my cigarette smoke allergy causing me wheezing in the main room, from surgeon to anaesthetist to nurses and orderlies, everyone was fantastic.

Now for the "needing improvement" - I had a preop assessment two weeks prior to the procedure. I received a letter for my appointment, followed by a letter saying I was on the list to get an appointment (unnecessary duplication).

I was told to come in for 7:30am. I had nothing to eat or drink from 6pm the night before as required. On arrival I was informed it would be at least 3pm before I was taken to theatre so I was expected to sit around all day. I don't think that this is acceptable for many people, especially as you rapidly become dehydrated in the stuffy hospital environment and cannot drink.

I saw the doctor, surgeon, anaesthetist, nurse, another nurse over a period of about 3 hours. As I said before, all staff are super but I think the system just is totally inefficient and not patient focussed at all. I understand that major ops must be first to allow for ITU and transfer to wards but for goodness sake why can you not allocate one or two days a week for minor procedures/day cases and have some come in first thing and others after lunch?

I have the impression everything is organised to fit with management procedure and with a total disregard to patient comfort. By 9:30 am I already had a headache from the dehydration and am sure this must be a problem for many patients.

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Response from Susan Cowe, NHS Borders We are preparing to make a change

Dear Superhuman, Thank you for your comments and suggestions.

When patients are added to a waiting list a letter is automatically generated confirming their addition to the waiting list and providing information about their Treatment Time Guarantee. As it can sometimes take time to confirm a patient’s operation date, this letter is sent to give assurance that they have been included in our waiting lists.

When you attend for a Pre-Assessment appointment you are given fasting information which informs you that you should not eat anything in the 6 hours leading up to admission time and you should not drink anything until 2 hours before admission time.

However I appreciate that when asked to attend early in the morning your last meal may have been the previous evening and I am sorry that as you were not due in theatre until 3pm that you had a long wait without food or drink.

I have shared your experience with our Planned Care Team so that they can consider this in their work to make our admission process more focused on the needs of our patients.

If you would like to speak Katie Morris, General Manager, Planned Care and Commissioning about your comments please contact me on 0189 826719.

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