"My past experiences of NHS hospitals and..."

About: Worcestershire Royal Hospital

What I liked

My past experiences of NHS hospitals and staff have been pleasurable and I have always been full of praise. The doctors and nurses I saw this time were impressive and I expect sometimes they could weep with frustration at what has happened to their service.

What could be improved

Theatre admissions was a shambles - why every man and his dog is allowed into the waiting area, I have no idea! This meant that there were not enough seats for the people actually waiting for surgery and the area became very cluttered with bags, people, sticks, walking frames and wheelchairs. I felt very sorry for the more elderly people who must have feared tripping and falling. The section where patients are seen by the doctors/nurses is no more than a curtained off area next to the seating and whether you wanted to know or not you couldn't help but hear all the intimate details of each patient - when did you last have a wee/use your bowels etc! It doesn't matter but it surely could be handled a little more sensitively?

And why call everyone for early appointments and keep them waiting all day - from 7:50am admission, I got to theatre at 12:45pm.

Anything else?

The most depressing part of the visit was being taken to the xray department by a porter. On previous visits to other hospitals (probably in the time when porters were part of the hospital staff, not a service that is contracted out) porters were always reassuring, kind and caring. They would have a cheerful word - "take care, there's a bit of a bump coming up...." etc, they would treat you as a person and you felt looked after. The porter here was listening to their mp3 player. They said no word to me at all and when we entered the lift I had to gaze at the rear wall - I couldn't see, but I bet they faced the door! I waited 40 minutes for them to return - I wasn't too surprised when I realised that it was 10:30 - tea time, I expect. On the way back to the theatre admissions, I was wheeled into a lift next to a large industrial size wheelie bin and left facing the back wall while the porter chatted to a mate about Christmas working times! Needless to say, I didn't feel of any more value than the rubbish I had to travel with!

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Response from Worcestershire Royal Hospital

The concept for opening a surgical admission lounge was established as a pilot project initially and was based off Hazel Unit (opposite main theatres). The purpose of the unit was to facilitate a smoother admission for patients who were scheduled for elective surgery.

On arrival patients were safely prepared for their operation in a timely manner in a calm environment enabling a prompt efficient transfer into the operating theatre. We have undertaken on-going patient feedback questionnaires and overall the feedback has been quite positive,

However we have taken the decision to discontinue the project because as usage has increased patient confidentiality has become an issue within the constraints of the department.

Patients will now be admitted directly to the perspective wards, allocated a bed and be prepared for theatre at the bedside.

Head of Nursing

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