"Superb care for my wife who has been fighting..."
About: Airedale NHS Foundation Trust Airedale NHS Foundation Trust Keighley BD20 6TD
Even for those who know Airedale NHS Foundation Trust Hospital, the terms 'HODU' and 'Richardson' may be unfamiliar. HODU is the 'Haematology & Oncology Day Unit' where specialist nurses and doctors treat patients with serious blood disorders, cancers etc. The 'Richardson Suite' is an adjacent area where consultants meet with patients to discuss diagnoses and possible treatments. My wife and I have been attending both departments for 10 years and, in part, this letter is my way of proclaiming the excellence, expertise and friendliness of all the staff who frequently work under a lot of pressure caused by the sheer numbers of patients they need to help. Without reservation I offer the highest praise for all teams who work in those areas. On one occasion we witnessed nurses react instantly and with great calm and teamwork when a patient suddenly became ill during chemotherapy. It was an object lesson in professionalism, skill and training.
But there is a negative aspect - isn't there always? In the 10 years we have been attending, it's become obvious that the physical facilities have become inadequate - especially for HODU where waiting times can sometimes stretch into hours. This is not through any fault of the staff but because they do not have enough specialist nurses nor enough treatment rooms to cope with an increasing number of patients and types of treatment. Even when patients moan about long delays, staff remain calm and polite and try to explain what is happening. There is an urgent need for Airedale governors and managers to address the need to find and fund a better and larger location for HODU and Richardson, hopefully with proximity to the pharmacy from where treatments have to be regularly ferried. This should be high priority.
As for those added comments: During a recent visit, I filled out some comment forms for the Airedale PALS group who support patients. I made a few suggestions for improvements and also added praise for staff in particular areas. I subsequently received a written and fully detailed response from a manager within the PALS setup. Once again, this demonstrates the drive that staff at Airedale have to provide the best level of care and service that they possibly can within the constraints that they are subject to within the current financial climate.
I have complete faith in Airedale and regularly recommend it to others.