"Mixed feelings about the Holly."

About: Holly House Hospital

I have used the Holly on quite a few occasions, both under my medical insurance and more recently because it is now being used extensively by the NHS. This is a summary of the treatment I have received there and I hope it will help others decide if they use the hospital or not.

First as a private patient their admin is appalling, they have twice sent out bills when I have already paid, they always claim not to have received faxes from your GP and you wait as long there as you would in Whipps X, but at least in the Holly there is free tea and coffee to make the wait more bearable.

The reception queues are often very long and I gave up waiting to make an appointment recently and I will use London Bridge Hospital in future which my husband uses! The hospital clearly needs to take on more staff to deal with their counters and answer their phones.

There was one occasion when the surgeon told me to request dressings before I went home and I had to argue with the nursing staff for the dressing- BUPA does not pay for a plaster, it seems, and nor does Holly (what happened to good will, I felt like a commodity not a patient!). I use their GP and they could not be nicer, you are not rushed and they appear to be knowledgeable and you can see them the same day. More recently I went as a NHS patient to see a back surgeon and some weeks later I was admitted as a day patient and I noticed the difference right away, NHS patients were told to wait in the general waiting room, and my husband was not allowed to join me when I was taken upstairs and shown into a tiny room with 5 other people.

We got chatting and none of us had any idea what was going to happen next in terms of our procedure (previously as a private patient I have been shown up to my room and my husband stayed with me).

As 3 of the other people in the room were also there for a spinal injection we all thought we were going to sit in that little room, go in, have our injections and then go home, which was not what I wanted! After a long wait, I was shown into a bay in the hospital and from that moment on I was treated with kindness, respect and dignity. The nurses on the ward and also the theatre staff were wonderful.

I hadn't expected full sedation so it came as a surprise to me when I woke up in recovery. The nurse in theatre had told me that you have an anaesthetic injection which stings and then you don't feel anything further, clearly they didn't expect me to be fully sedated either. The main issue for me was the lack of communication, and the very long wait to go into theatre. In terms of care, the surgical team and the nurses were exceptional and you get a call a day later to see if everything is OK.

Story from NHS Choices

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