"Excellent care, dedicated staff,..."

About: St Thomas' Hospital (London)

What I liked

I was unexpectedly admitted via A&E for an operation on a Friday evening. I was very impressed with the professional way in which my journey through A&E was managed. The initial waiting time was no more than 20 minutes, which I was very impressed with, particularly on what has to be one of their busiest nights of the week. Although I was in A&E for around 5 hours, I was kept informed and updated with what was happening with my treatment at all times. The staff were cheerful and helpful, especially the charge nurse and the nurse looking after me.

My problem was a slightly delicate one, but at no point was I made to feel embarrassed or uncomfortable by any of the staff. Once referred to the surgeons, I was seen within 30 minutes. The surgical F2 who spoke to me was fantastic. Very reassuring attitude and excellent communication skills. I am a student nurse with a background in medical physiology and pathology, and so was glad that he took the time to assess my level of knowledge, as it meant he didn't waste time explaining things unnecessarily and I didn't get spoken to in a patronising way, which I have experienced in the past (not at St Thomas' though)

The ward staff before and after my operation were very efficient, helpful and friendly. Call bells were responded to promptly. I especially liked the iced water - they don't do that at the trust I train in! The catering staff were brilliant. One lady even went and hunted down a tuna sandwich for me from another ward. I would like to single out the porter who both took me down and brought me back from theatre. Great sense of humour and all-round nice guy. Makes all the difference.

I very much enjoyed being transferred to Howard ward. Felt like Iike I'd been upgraded to first class and the views are stunning from the 12th floor :D

Also, the ground floor facilities? 24hr coffee shop? M&S? Great for patients, but as someone who trains at a different NHS trust, I am very deeply jealous.

What could be improved

While A&E overall was excellent, there was a patient toilet in the corridor between A&E and CDU that was beyond filthy. The floor was covered in who-knows-what and the toilet seat wasn't actually attached to the toilet. It was infection control's worst nightmare, basically.

Discharge planning was pretty poor. I was informed that I could go home when the nurse came in at 5pm on Saturday evening and told me I could go home now. This was despite the fact that I had told them I had no-one to get me home, lived alone and had been told I needed a dressing change before I went. I was also pretty unsteady on my feet as general anaesthesia always hits me fairly hard. Eventually I was discharged on Sunday, but with no instructions to my practice nurse about packing and dressing the wound, despite me asking for them. I was told that "you don't write a referral to a practice nurse, only to district nurses." I've written enough practice nurse referrals myself to know that isn't true. If it truly isn't done in this trust, maybe it should be, as my dressing and wound care regimen was quite complex.

Anything else?

I enjoyed the banter I got after staff found out I train at "the opposition" ie. UCLH. Kept me amused while I was waiting and recovering. Nothing makes bigger difference to a stay in hospital than staff with a positive attitude, a smile and a sense of humour, and St Thomas' have plenty of them. I have follow-up here, and possibly further treatment, and I feel very confident in this hospital's ability to deliver top-notch treatment and care.Follow upWaiting timesAttitudeCheerfulOpening hoursPatient careNursing staffReferralsCommunicationProfessionalismReassuringReceptionPathologySurgeonsInfectionsCleanlinessCorridorsRefreshmentsToiletsPortersGeneral anaestheticWounds

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Responses

Response from St Thomas' Hospital

This is great feedback - thanks for taking the time to post it. We know that we could do better in some ways on discharge planning and are actively trying to improve the process. We will also investigate the toilet issue.

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