"It's been almost two months since I..."

About: Broomfield Hospital

What I liked

It's been almost two months since I started getting NHS treatment for multiple broken bones in my arm & hand. The plaster was finally removed this week so I can comment on the whole process. A+E reception-admin and the triage nurses were professional and well humoured, caring staff including the nice lady in the A+E plaster room.

My admission to was well handled, professional and smooth. The operation itself went well and the week in recovery was fine. The variety and quality of meals was a complete surprise and a little overwhelming, on-ward catering was fantastic, for people complaining about food - they are probably too well to be in hospital.

Follow up visits to the fracture clinic and the X-ray department were well handled even on the days they were ridiculously busy, each a credit to the hospital.

What could be improved

The Outpatients Reception area can be noisy which makes clear and calm communication with the reception staff there very difficult. I don't think any staff or users of the area see a benefit from the cafe being located there as well. I feel the design of this area was not carried out by people that have worked in such an environment, or sought staff input.

On the ward: In the hours before the operation I know that a selection of the whole team will need to assess, brief and mark me up before surgery. I would have liked these people to more clearly say who they were and what their role was. A few page's in the patients guide book on what a Registrar is compared to a Consultant would help understand who is talking with me.

Discharge: Although my clinical care was without fault the discharge process was a compete screw up. After ward staff booked a hospital car to take be home at 11am ( due to take me at 2pm ) despite regular update requests by the ward staff to the transport department - at 7pm the ward staff were told that no cars would be available until the following day. I discharged myself not wanting to spend another day taking up a bed ( we are always told this is an expensive resource ), this was a mistake on my part but I felt very let down by a part of the hospital that I had never even seen.

Clearly the transport department is not managed correctly, I expect it is Old School NHS and needs to be sub-contracted to a local taxi firm that can find a car within 8 hours. This incident really upset me after what was a good hospital experience. I would expect everyone looks forward to a return to their home comforts. However the bait and switch of '...can go home...' vs '...can't go...' as no transport is available has both a psychological impact and potentially a physical impact, in my case due to the medication that has affected my movement and metal capacity, hence the assessment that letting me travel by public transport was unwise.

Anything else?

Patients and those waiting do like to read things other than House & Garden and Good Housekeeping. I have donated motoring, IT and men's lifestyle magazines to the waiting rooms during my follow-up visits, they seem to have gone now. I hope they were taken by light fingered patients rather than support staff banning other magazines, but I have my doubts.

I would really like parents of younger children to take some steps to control the noise that they make. I understand that they might be bored to be there while waiting for parents getting outpatient treatment, however the lack of consideration shown to other people who are ill is disgraceful. On the same subject, would hospital/support staff remove the noisy toys and musical instruments(!), there are quiet ways to amuse children so as not cause stress to others waiting nearby.

Story from NHS Choices

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