"I was admitted to hospital in ..."

About: Stepping Hill Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

I was admitted to hospital in February with Gallstone related Pancreatitis. I was put on ward B6 and the care I received couldn't have been better. The staff were extremely friendly and even though it was a very busy ward, they remained friendly and professional although they must have been stressed and under pressure. They always had time to talk to me and I didn't feel I was being rushed.

If anybody from B6 is reading this - Well Done, you guys are fantastic.

What could be improved

Following my stay in February, I was admitted to hospital yesterday (over 2 months wait on a priority list) for my operation to remove the gall bladder.

I was asked to attend the hospital at 07:30 and was quickly asked to change into my theatre gown and let my partner go home so I would be ready to go. For obvious reasons, I was not allowed to eat or drink from midnight the evening before.

At some point during the day the nurse came to run through some questions with me. The anaesthetist had already been and spoken to me but everbody else had seen their surgeon too. When looking over my paperwork the nurse commented that I had seen the surgeon. I told her I had not. She assumed then that I had seen one of his staff. I told her again, I have not seen anyone but the anaesthetist. The nurse then advised me that my paperwork had been signed by the surgeon (or his team) when they came to see me this morning! I really did not see anyone but the anaesthatist. Think the nurse thought I was crazy.

At 17:30 I was still sitting there, although my family had been advised when they called the ward, that I was down in theatre and to call C3 where I was due to go to recover. I had been sitting there all day and had not moved so why my family were advised I was not there is beyond me.

At around 18:00 my partner called the ward and was told I was just about to go down for surgery. At this point, nerves about the surgery were gone, I just wanted to get it over with.

At 18:30 a surgeon came up to see me. "This is it" I thought. But no, he was just there to advise me that my operation was cancelled as the op before mine had over-run and they were "Out of theatre time". Why make appointments to give the surgeons just enough time to do them all? In the case that they over-run like this one did, I am now left to go back on the waiting list and wait for up to another 4 weeks!

Anything else?

All day operations need to be abolished. If I had known that I would be sitting there until early evening, I could have at least had some breakfast. I was made to sit there for over 10 hours with only half a glass of water and no food for over 18 hours.

I am now back on the waiting list and as long as I have the gallstones there is a chance the pancreatitis could come back. I have been in some considerable pain the past week or so and think there is a distinct possibility another gallstone has escaped. If this is the case and it heads for my pancreas again I could be waiting months for my operation.

I think the system needs reviewing as this should not have happened. It's a half hour operation, how booked up must the surgeons have been that they could not fit me in?!

Whilst I in no way blame the staff, the procedures do need to change. On the day of my op it seemed the left hand didn't always know what the right was doing.

There will be a phone call to PALS on Monday morning.

Story from NHS Choices

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