"Expert plastic surgery, compasionately delivered..."

About: Frenchay Hospital

What I liked

I am a user of private and NHS healthcare services and have had good and poor experiences in both sectors. I also work in in healthcare again private and NHS. I attended the regional plastic surgery hand and upper limb unit at Frenchay and had the most exceptional care with dedicated compassionate staff who were clearly working in a very busy unit. However all the staff were polite and considerate, humerous when appropropriate and efficient at all times. I was kept informed of any delays although it was clear that the unit was active with emergencies. I had accidently cut off my finger and needed to have it grafted back. The surgeons were thoroughly professional and their skills were a pleasure to witness despite the upsetting circumstances.

I used the Day Case Unit waiting room which was comfortable and generally quiet. I was appallled as other patients & I witnessed some waiting relatives complaining amoungst themselves about the time surgery was taking even though a receptionist had expained clearly to them operations are all different and they would be informed as soon as their relative was out of theatre. It appeared these people had little consideration for the other patients and it was a credit to the receptionist who smoothly and patiently spoke with them.

The operation went well. The local anaesthetic was minimally painful and the cheery nurses chatted quietly to me as the surgeons worked. The day case theatre was calm and efficient and the team working a credit to Frenchay. The plastic surgery staff from the junior doctor who explained the operation and aftercare to the senior surgeon and the consultant who performed the surgery installed such confidence. All were compassionate and caring and made every effort to ensure I was kept comfortable. Throughout my care I had the impression that this was a service worthy of its worldwide reputation.

What could be improved

the day case treatment cubicals were were very small

the hospital gowns are immodest and the nurse had to use 2 to combat this- presumably double the laundary costs?

the day case room was crowded with doctors and physiotherapists clearly working in very narrow spaces with little room for equipment or for them to move about easily

other patients could hear doctors talking to patients and confidentiality was therefore poor

I was surprised to see relatives were present in the treatment room this made the space more cramped and they were listening to other patients being treated

the hospital corridoors were cluttered with broken beds, chairs boxes

people (staff and patients) were blatently smoking at the hospital entrance and no hospital staff made any attempts to stop them

there is litter and cigarette butts at the entrance to the hospital

the staff seemed rather pressured for the number of patients they were treating

Anything else?

Having read some of the other rather negative comments about Frenchay I feel strongly that based on my experience with the plastic surgery unit and the day case unit I would hope to redress the balance. The speed of emergency care and quality surgery and aftercare recieved at Frenchay would not have been provided in the private sector and the trust board & managers should be commended for providing such a service

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Response from Frenchay Hospital

Dear Sir/Madam

Thank you for taking the time and trouble to post your helpful and balanced comments about the treatment and care you received at Frenchay Hospital. I am sorry it has taken me until now to acknowledge your comments but I have been on leave.

I am please that you could not fault the treatment provided and that this has lived up to the world class care you were expecting. The Trust is aware of the limitations of the Frenchay accommodation and facilities available, many of which have been used well in excess of the intended operational timescales. We are confident that the new hospital currently under construction will rectify this situation and provide an environment which matches the excellent care you have experienced.

I have passed on your comments to the Day Case Unit, the Director of Nursing and all the staff and managers involved so they are aware of the very specific issues you raise and can take appropriate action, such as tidying the area etc, which are not subject to the current building limitations.

Your comments will also be fed back to the Trust Board.

Kind Regards – Steve Sykes

Advice and Complaints.

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