"Once I was seen for an initial..."

About: King's College Hospital (Denmark Hill)

What I liked

Once I was seen for an initial consultation, things moved fairly quickly; I did not have to wait too long for an operation, and even though beds were limited my operation was not cancelled. My consultant seemed experienced, knowledgable and personable. The operation itself, although bigger than anticipated, seemed to go smoothly, though I am still in the recovery stages. The food was perfectly adequate.

The anaesthetist was excellent considering I have a complex condition that makes anaesthetising me very difficult. Having been informed of this in advance, the anaesthetist rang me a week before my operation to reassure me that he had dealt with similar cases and had formulated a special plan for me. This removed a great deal of worry for me, and he delivered as promised, which was fantastic.

What could be improved

I was sometimes concerned that the communication between the nurses was not good. Some of them did not have English as a first language so seemed to misunderstand what they had been told by a colleague, and it was up to me to correct them. One time a patient in the next bed was surprised to be informed she was being taken to "A&E", only to discover the person taking her had misheard, and she was actually going somewhere completely different.

There were also times when I was given conflicting information about my own treatment, sometimes from different doctors.

Even though there were meal options, I was not given a menu; instead I always had to ask the person in charge of food to recite what was on offer, which was tiring and didn't seem like an efficient way of doing things.

Finally, even though my date of birth was on everything including my wrist, because I am small in stature (and lying in bed with no make-up on), everyone seemed to assume I was a lot younger, eg asking me if I was at college (I'm 28!). This resulted in them often addressing my parents (who were simply there to support me), sometimes turning their back on me to do so, at which point I had to insist they turn around and talk to me, the patient!

Anything else?

Despite a few small negative things, overall I was pleased with my experience and grateful to have been treated on the NHS.

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Response from King's College Hospital (Denmark Hill)

Thank you so much for taking the time to comment about King’s College Hospital.

I am pleased to hear that your overall care was to a high standard and wish you well for your continued recovery. I am sorry however that you experienced some communication difficulties during your stay and will pass your comments on to our Head of Nursing. If you would like to discuss your experiences with us in person can I suggest that you contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) who will be happy to assist you further. PALS can be contacted on 0203 299 3601.

We report back quarterly on comments and suggestions received and this information will be posted on our website. Thank you again for your comments which are very much appreciated