"Since March this year I have had ..."
About: University College Hospital University College Hospital London NW1 2BU
Posted by Theresa Dean
What I liked
Since March this year I have had two operations and two further admissions for an unrelated infection. Both my surgeons were brilliant and the nursing care after each procedure was excellent. Over the past few years I have been on quite a few different wards and, on the whole, the nurses are highly professional, dedicated, friendly and cheerful. Most of them also tend to have a sense of humour which helps enormously when you might be feeling anxious or miserable. Follow-up in the Fracture Clinic when I have seen my consultant has been very good. The review by my Head and Neck consultant has been equally good. He explained things clearly, gave me space to ask questions and took my concerns about possible further treatment seriously.
I then had to have further admissions for cellulitis. The Infectious Diseases team looked after me very well and the nursing care was excellent. I was treated with respect and courtesy and, although there were many patients who were very much more ill than I was, the doctors and nurses never made me feel I was wasting their time.
The fact that visiting hours are so relaxed helps a great deal. No matter how well you are looked after, hospitals can still be quite alien and frightening places. Having people able to come to see you for most of the day/evening is great and helps ward off the hospital blues.
The cleaning staff, porters and those who provide the meals also deserve thanks for their courtesy and cheerfulness.
All in all, I am extremely grateful to all those who work at UCH and I realise that I am privileged to live in a country where we can access free and expert health care.
What could be improved
It is true that the food is pretty awful on the whole. The long gap between the evening meal and breakfast is ridiculous. Some days I was given my evening meal at 5pm and then got breakfast at 8.45 the following morning. Presumably this is not for the patients' benefit......
The admin could be improved. After the surgery on my ankle my operation notes were lost. This caused problems when my consultant was not available in clinic as the registrar was new and did not know what the surgery had entailed. Fortunately, I had a fairly good understanding of the procedure but not everyone necessarily does.