"A little more information would make a big difference"
About: Leeds General Infirmary / Dermatology Leeds General Infirmary Dermatology LS1 3EX
Posted by JimL (as ),
I was recently diagnosed with a melanoma, which meant I needed surgery in Leeds General Hospital. The service I got there was excellent. Everyone was friendly and efficient. I subsequently had to go back as a minor emergency when one of my wounds opened. Again the service was excellent.
However one thing stood out, which if changed would make things so much better for patients, and that is, that each time you are left - on a bed, in a room, or whatever, it is very often not clear what is going to happen next, and especially how long you might need to wait.
So when I arrived on the ward the person on the desk didn't ask my name or anything - she just said "I'll just put you in the day-room for a little while." (The dayroom was awful, I have to say, no posters, no windows, no magazines).
I'm sure she should have checked my name, but what she should also have said was "we are just changing from the night-shift to the day-shift, the day-shift nurse will come and allocate you a bed in about half an hour."
At another point I was brought back from a scan and left on my bed, earlier I'd been told that my surgery would be around three in the afternoon, but no-one said "OK we don't need you now for a couple of hours, you can have a walk around, buy a paper or whatever".
It was exactly the same when I went back to have my open wound sorted out. They were very nice, but after the house-officer had looked at it they put me in a single room and the nurse said "just take a seat in here". Well that sounds very transient, but after my partner and I had been sitting there for about half an hour, she went to check, and found they were waiting for some more senior bod to turn up for the ward round. What the nurse should have said was "we'll put you in here while we decide the best course of action. It may be a couple of hours, so you can lie on the bed if you want, but don't go anywhere".
Giving this kind of information would (a) be very helpful and reassuring for the patient (b) would clarify what was going on for the staff.