"I was very happy with the surgery but..."

About: Croydon University Hospital

What I liked

I was impressed with the appearance of the wound following my thyroid surgery. I think scarring will be minimal.

I was allocated a private side room.

A nurse recognised that I did not feel well enough to go home despite being discharged and acted on this.

What could be improved


A small plastic jug with fluid the colour of urine was left on a shelf beneath the bathroom mirror for at least a day. This was very off putting.

A nurse dropped my beaker on the floor by accident. I expected him to remove it and give me a fresh one. Instead he rinsed it under the tap and put it back on my table. I did not drink from or touch the beaker after that.

The table I ate on was never cleaned or wiped.

Surfaces in the bathrooms looked dirty.

There is a general lack of customer care on the ward and this needs to be improved for example:

I asked my husband to let the nurse know on his way out that I was in a lot of pain. He told the nurse and no one came. He text me to let me know that he went back to check if the nurse was going to act on his request and the nurse told him that I can ring the bell myself to request help if I need it.

Professional behaviour :

A particular doctor on two separate occasions told me she was not very awake. On one occasion

the same doctor told me that she was "bad at spelling". This didn't fill me with confidence.

Doctors and nurses doing what they say and not leaving the patient to constantly check and be vigilant.

Doctors and nurses did not always listen to me.

Anything else?

Despite assurances that my husband would be contacted when my surgery was over, no one bothered to do this. After being on the ward for quite a while I asked a nurse if my family had been contacted. She told me they didn't have phones and that I should use the phone in my room to ring myself. My husband told me he received no news from the hospital and had to eventually ring for himself to find out. The hospital literature also states that family is informed following your surgery.

I informed the doctor prior to surgery that a fews days prior, i had a bad reaction to co-amoxiclav (9 days of diarrhoea) which was prescribed for sinus and chest infections. Following my surgery I was told that the there was residual infection, breathing difficulties and more antibiotics were needed. I asked the doctor not to prescribe co-amoxiclav. Luckily on the ward I had the presence of mind to ask what tablets I was being asked to take. The nurse told me augmentin (same as co-amoxiclav). I looked this drug up on the internet because my reaction to it was so bad - so I knew the other names for it. I declined the medication explaining why. After that every single nurse continued to give it to me and each time I had to check and then decline the tablet. Even when the nurse put it on my notes they continued to give it to me.

The doctors prescribed the drug to me on discharge. I told the doctor again on discharge that I could not take the drug. She told me to take it home anyway and discard them.I later told the nurse this was a waste of nhs money and gave the medication back. The doctor then amended my discharge letter. Also other medication was missing from my discharge bag. Luckily I checked.

The pain relief was not adequate once anaesthetic wore off. My request for ibuprofen was ignored. I told the doctor and she told me that the pharmacy was closed(at 16.10 on Saturday )and to buy it myself. I heard a nurse saying that the pharmacy closes at 18.00. Who was telling the truth?

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Croydon University Hospital

Thank you for your kind comments on the care you received but we are sorry to learn that we fell short of your expectations during your stay.

If you contact the PALS team on 020 8401 3939 and tell them which ward you were on and when we can make sure the staff concerned are made aware of your comments.

As regards cleaning, the ward and side rooms should be cleaned once a day and sanitary items are cleaned three times a day. We will look into why this didn't happen satisfactorily during your stay."

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