"The breast care team has given me thorough..."
About: Queen's Hospital, Burton Upon Trent Queen's Hospital, Burton Upon Trent Burton -on- Trent DE13 0RB
What I liked
Following a mammogram I had the unexpected experience of a recall for further tests. Since then it has been a roller coaster of tests and results but throughout this the staff in the breast care unit and X-ray and nuclear medicine departments have been kind, helpful and understanding.
Every area I've visited has been clean and welcoming. I've always found that toilet facilities have been clean and with all necessary amenities always in place- not always the case in other hospital outpatient areas. The xray receptionists and radiographers have been nothing but helpful, even where patients including me have been delayed by road problems or even turned up on the wrong day or had conflicting appointments. It's very reassuring that the breast care centre provides almost a one stop shop and can book further appointments and tests there and then. Every woman dreads a diagnosis of breast cancer but knowing there is acompetent and understanding team to take us along the treatment route is so important.
The range of tests that the consultants may propose is daunting at the time, but it's really important that we have access to all these tests so we have a really comprehensive treatment plan. At Queens they make this as easy as possible. The specialist breast care nurses are also always available to go through things in more detail after the consultation, and this is so important when youve received news that comes as such a shock.
What could be improved
As lay people having a first experience, its hard to know what good looks like! There is a lack of informatio about what we should be able to expect, for instance waiting time for tests. However, from comparing experiences, I think there is some room for improvement. After the shock of a diagnosis or possible diagnosis of breast cancer, the periods of waiting for test results are really very difficult and as the path lab is shared with another hospital, it seems that the can be longer waiting times than in some other areas of the country.
I have been offered a full range of choices all along the way, but in reality it's hard to find any firm information on which to make choices, for instance the frequency of specific procedures or comparative outcomes with other treatment centres. I'm sure Queens isn't alone in this, but it would be very helpful to be able to access information with which to make informed choices.
The breast care team from receptionist to consultants deserves full recognition for the outstanding service they provide to people in south staffs.