"Having fallen from a ladder at ..."
About: Royal Lancaster Infirmary Royal Lancaster Infirmary Lancaster LA1 4RP
What I liked
Having fallen from a ladder at home and injured myself, my wife drove me to the hospital where I was treated quickly and expertly in A & E. Despite being in a poor condition I soon felt reassured I was in good hands. I was closely monitored using modern equipment, expertly diagnosed via X-ray and examination, and given treatment including pain relief and oxygen. My main injuries turned out to be broken ribs and a punctured lung. I was told how I was going to be managed medically, including possible risks and what to watch out for. I was then moved to a general surgery ward (Ward 33) where my condition was monitored closely, especially during the first night. The following day I was seen by a consultant who assessed my condition, confirmed the diagnosis and gave a prognosis. I was also seen by a physiotherapist who gave excellent advice about recovery and helped me take my first steps at walking again, which was fantastic for my morale. The following day I was sufficiently well to be discharged, being sent home with a multitude of pain killers and clear instructions about what to do to assist my recovery. Throughout my stay the staff on Ward 33 were kind and caring, hard-working and efficient. The ward was clean, airy and spacious and even the hospital food was pretty good!
I have to say I have been surprised to see some of the negative feedback on RLI posted on this website. Some of this seems to me to reflect unreasonable expectations and attitudes on the part of some patients and illustrates the difficult job the hospital staff are expected to perform.
What could be improved
Initial entry to A & E was confusing (though bear in mind this might reflect my injured state). The two ticket-office like windows were on the left rather than ahead and I wandered straight past them. The windows themselves seemed to be barred, as if or the protection of staff, and I had to wait a short while for one of the two receptionists to talk to me even though there were no other people present. It would seem worth reviewing these aspects of the reception arrangements.
The bedside radio was excellent and it was good that it was free of charge. Although I didn't use the internet I would have found this useful had I been in hospital longer and it seems reasonable to have to pay a small charge for this.