"I can highly recommend the QA for their..."

About: Queen Alexandra Hospital

What I liked

Having been very speedily tested and diagnosed with stomach cancer following initial tests organised by my GP, the QA efficiently and caringly took us through the prognosis, the process and the options. At all times we were advised and given control of the situation. The Clinical Nurse Specialist Upper Gastrointestinal took care of everything magnificently, and still is!

Following the chemotherapy programme I underwent a total gastrectomy and spent the next 5 days recovering in the Surgical High Dependancy ward where, despite my morphine induced paranoia, I was cared for in the main with respect, dignity and understanding. Having responded well to surgery due to the Work of the highly skilled surgical team and subsequent excellent treatment I was moved on the 5th day to the general ward E2 where the staff and service were also mainly superb. Luckily all went so well that on day 6, my birthday, I was allowed home. I have continued to recover speedily without secondary infection and look forward to my next check-up at the QA clinic.

What could be improved

I understand that everyone is different and that nurses and doctors have been trained all over the world and have their own opinions and slightly different working methods. At times this can be a little disconcerting when what was right yesterday with one team is not right the next with another team. Asking questions and being responsible for yourself was one way to maintain continuity.

Food. Without a stomach, I didn't have much food during my stay but the ordering and then non-arrival of my first real meal after 5 days fasting was a disappointment. I was informed that all the food came from and was prepared in Wales! This seems absurd because the QA is situated in one of the best counties in the UK for food and cooking. Local is surely the way to go, especially when freshness and carbon footprint are so important?

Anything else?

I think that if you look for the positive aspects, take control of your own situation and work with the professionals who have dedicated their lives to your care then the experience and outcome will always be good. I feel lucky to have been given the opportunity to be treated and cared for by the QA team.

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Responses

Response from Queen Alexandra Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback. I have shared your feedback with the services concerned and asked for the issue reagrding communication between to be discussed at a multidisciplinary team meeting. With regard the food issues, I apologise for the delay in your first meal.

With regard the transport of meals the food served at meal times is prepared as part of the Cook Chill system. This is adopted by 35% of Trusts across the country. Meals are prepared off site, chilled to a low temperature and transported to the kitchens at Queen Alexandra Hospital. The meals are then assembled and taken to the patient. The food is heated when it arrives at the ward and served immediately to the patient. This means the food does not loose its temperature or nutrition while being transported to the ward. We believe this system is the best and most nutritional way of serving our patients their meals.

We frequently hold food tasting events and the nutritional value is monitored by specialist dieticians.

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