"I was urgently admitted to Ward 35 due..."

About: Royal Lancaster Infirmary

What I liked

I was urgently admitted to Ward 35 due to an accident, and while I was in A&E and X-Ray for assessement, I was treated promptly and professionally and received adequate pain relief. Also, and surprisingly, the wait time was also quite short.

On admission to the ward, this was a real culture shock for me, as I had never been an NHS in patient before, and had little idea what to expect. It was unfortunate that I was kept nil by mouth for longer than necessary, waiting to see if a theater would be available for the operation - this was also true of the following day, and I was not actually treated until two days after admission. Other patients on the ward had similar experiences, and it seemed to take time for information of cancellations to reach the ward and patients.

The staff from domestics to senior nursing staff did treat me with respect, but by the very nature of the ward, there were some issues over dignity and privacy for both myself and some other patients.

The staff responded uncomplainingly to my needs, albeit not as quickly as one might hope, due to pressures elsewhere. The physiotherapists on the ward were exceptional in their training and motivational skills, and were a credit to the NHS and themselves. This was aso true of the other clinical aspects of my care from the nursing staff, who clearly were smiling in the face of adversity.

I also felt that little later start in the morning, and an earlier lights out than 11.30 might be advantageous.

The food was between moderate and good, and I had no issues with temperature - and no errors in the choices - which was just as well, as I have a special dietary need (diabetes).

All in all - 7.5/10 - thanks

What could be improved

Just one more member of staff on each shift would ensure that patients did not have to wait sometimes long periods with their cals unanswered - this was not the staff's fault at all, but was purely down to the staffing levels on the ward .

One error which was a bit odd was that I also had an out patients appointment which coincided with my stay, and which I mentioned to the staff requesting that it be cancelled or postponed. I was told this would happen, but it did not, and I was "summoned" while I was being discharged, and had to be taken down to the clinic to explain personally to the sister there as to what had happened - this was totally a communication problem which could have been easily avoided.

Anything else?

I would have no qualms about having to stay in Ward 35 again.

I did feel that the TV/phone/internet was a bit expensive, and also the "internet" access was a joke and the overall service was a bit flaky and clunky - it went down twice in ten days. However, that is not an RLI issue, but is down to Hospedia.

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Response from Royal Lancaster Infirmary

Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment about our services. Based on the information provided, we have investigated where we can further. As you can appreciate patients are seen based on clinical need and emergency demands can change as the day progresses, this in turn can alter theatre availability, it does appear in this instance that perhaps we could have communicated with you earlier regarding your possible operation, we apologise for any discomfort that this may have caused.

With regards to the Outpatients appointment, we have asked our Head of Outpatients to look at this and we agree that the situation could have been avoided; we do not feel that you should have been ‘summoned’ as you described.

Although we do not supply the bedside TV systems, we will pass your comments onto Hospedia.

As you have commented on several issues, we would welcome the opportunity to discuss this further with you. If you would like to speak with us, please contact Angela Peil, Customer Care Manager on 01539 716645.

If you need any further help or information please call our confidential Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS). They can be contacted on 01539 795 497.

We place great value in the fact that local people continue to choose our hospitals and we openly encourage patients and visitors to give us their feedback. This will enable us to continually to improve the services we offer and the experience our patients have whilst in our hospitals.

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