"I feel that Nottingham Hospitals are coming apart..."

About: City Hospital campus

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I am 71. Fit as a flea, agile, able to run around, do three tough sessions a week in the gym, and an active Saturday and Sunday leagues football referee. It is also relevant to point out that I have a mechanical aortic valve in my heart, fitted some time ago in a different country. After that surgery I returned to Premier League football refereeing in NSW.

In October I tore a knee cartilage reffing a game - diagnosed within 48 hours by my excellent GP with the help of a sports Physio I knew. It is now February and I am still waiting for NHS Nottingham to fix my knee.

When I eventually got to see an orthopaedic surgeon, he thought that as a precaution my heart valve should be assessed. Fair enough. I am now waiting for that assessment to take place and to hear what conclusions have been reached with regard to my heart valve, and whether or not -CRITICAL ISSUE- the valve is OK. Which leaves the original issue to be resolved - fix the knee and let me get back to full physical fitness and a hobby I enjoy.

I have never failed to be impressed by the quality of the Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon to whom I was referred. His treatment of me could not be faulted. Nor do I have any criticism of the two Cardiac Consultants I have seen. They were all patient-centred, informative, authoritative and thoroughly professional, as we're all their support staff.

I talk to all these professional people in an attempt to inform myself, to be aware of their issues, and to understand what is happening in their services.

Consequently, my informed impression of the three major units in which I am being treated - QMC and Nottingham City and the Nottingham Treatment Centre- is that organisationally they are disintegrating, with everyone working under horrendous pressure, without adequate support or direction, with diminishing staff and other resources and unable to perform (in terms of service to me - the patient) as they would wish. I think all three of the above organisations are coming apart at the seams, with good people defying all the odds to deliver prompt, efficient and high-quality service to me the hapless patient.

I feel very sorry for anyone currently working in Nottingham Hospitals and for what I believe is an inability to operate at a level of efficiency and clinical effectiveness that they would define as satisfactory. No one can tell me with any degree of certainty where their services are heading. No one has said that they are happy with their current professional working conditions. I feel this is an appalling state of affairs and a disgraceful blot on the record of a Government that said there would be no reorganisation of the NHS. In fact to dignify what is going on as a well-managed reorganisation would be utterly false. I think it is a desperate, hopeless, pointless and damaging waste of a precious national resource.

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