"The experience was fairly stressful, not helped by..."
About: North Devon District Hospital North Devon District Hospital Barnstaple EX31 4JB
What I liked
All the hospital staff I encountered were professional and helpful. I was given confidence that the outcome would be successful and that I would be looked after, although this confidence tailed off towards the end.
What could be improved
The pre-operation process seemed to be unnecessarily prolonged, with several hospital visits needed. The ward staff seemed over-stretched at times. They were distracted from patient care by having to deal with issues of bed availability, which was self-defeating because it took longer to free up the beds. It was hard to get clear information on after-care and the recovery process.
I had a nasal polypectomy and endoscopic sinus surgery, followed by an overnight stay. My initial referral via DART was in July 2011 and the operation took place five months later in December. Four prior visits to hospital were required, leaving me wondering whether the process could have been better organised and the waiting time reduced.
The operation itself went smoothly, although I suffered some post-operative bleeding which was treated promptly by the consultant and the nursing staff. The ward staff on the first day shift and on the night shift were brilliant, but by the time the second day shift took over, the ward seemed over-full and the staff seemed over-stretched.
On the ward the nursing staff had to deal with issues of bed availability as well as patient care. Although I was not neglected, I felt that with a slighter better focus they could have advanced my discharge time by a few hours and freed up the bed. I had difficulty in getting clear information on after-care and the recovery process.
The operation appears to have been successful and I am recovering well. I can breathe freely again for the first time in many months and my sense of smell is returning.
If this had been my only experience of NDDH, I might hesitate before having further surgery here or recommending this hospital to others. However, an earlier operation in the day surgery unit went very smoothly, so my overall experience of NDDH is still fairly positive.