"Allowed to manage my Parkinson's medication in hospital"

About: Heartlands Hospital / General surgery

(as the patient),

I have suffered from Parkinson's Disease for twenty years. The Parkinson's UK organisation has run a campaign stressing the importance of obtaining medication at exactly the correct time, so important in certain conditions and particularly Parkinson's. I was asked by them to share my experiences on this site.

Managing to do incredible damage to myself in a simple fall, I was admitted to Birmingham Heartlands Hospital. I asked the family to bring my tablets which are all arranged by time of day in a purpose built box. Having read various horror stories about medication I feared the worse. I could not have been more wrong.

All the staff were thoroughly helpful and understanding and treated me as an intelligent human being. One comment was "If you've been know taking them for twenty years you obviously know what you're doing!"

Clearly the hospital has to safeguard itself, so I signed forms to the effect that I was solely responsible, although the ward staff always asked if I had taken all my medication. The staff thus had one less thing to worry about and were spared a visit to the pharmacy. Naturally not having to chase tablets made me less stressed.

Even with an operation to rebuild my wrist the stay was very acceptable. I saw a dedicated, hard working group of health workers who were very helpful at all times. The ward was kept spotlessly clean whatever the day and the food was very good.

One very comforting experience was when an elderly gentleman, new to the ward, appeared to collapse and one of the non-nursing staff pressed the panic button. The respose was amazing, putting the BBC's Casualty to shame! The gent was in fact not too seriouly ill, but the senior staff were at great pains to explain to the buzzer-presser that her actions were completely correct and she was not to worry.

The ward was in bays, although there were no mixed-sex bays. I must stress that absolute discretion was observed at all times.

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Response from Patient Engagement Office and Project Manager, Heart Of England NHS Foundation Trust

Dear John62

Many thanks for giving us your feedback which we are delighted to see was positive.

So that we can share you feedback with the relevant staff, could you please let us know which ward you were admitted to?

Thanks again and hope you are recovering well from your fall.

Update posted by John62 (the patient)

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for your response, I am recovering from my fall and returning to normal.

I was in Ward 9 at Heartlands and stand by all I wrote. I am a great believer in giving positive encouragement and my wife visited Ward 9 to offer thanks for all that was done.

I must add that the follow-up at Solihull has been excellent and I am benifitting from the help of the Physiotherapy Department.

Response from Patient Engagement Office and Project Manager, Heart Of England NHS Foundation Trust

Thanks for confirming you were on Ward 9. I will ensure your feedback is passed on to them.