"A very positive experience with shoulder surgery..."

About: University College Hospital

What I liked

I went to UCH for treatment of a longstanding shoulder injury that had caused it to dislocate more than two dozen times in the past 12 years or so. I was very fearful of surgery and had been avoiding it for some time. The surgeons and doctors in the orthopaedics clinic were very patient with me and answered all my questions (even though I'm sure they had heard them all many times before). I actually ended up going into surgery twice, and both times I found the day surgery staff to be friendly and helpful. The doctors, once again, were great. Surgery always carries risks, but mine went smoothly.

I am now nearly fully recovered, thanks in large part to the physiotherapy staff who were every bit as good as the doctors. Moreover, it looks very likely that the surgery has solved the problem.

What could be improved

Communication with doctors at UCH is great when you're standing in front of them, but getting them (or anyone) on the phone is another matter. During my long recovery I had a few questions that went unasnwered and one family emergency that required immediate medical advice on whether I could travel. I found it extremely difficult to reach anyone and ended up having to walk in and wait in the clinic for someone to talk to me. The doctor was very helpful when they did see me, but it was clear that messages just weren't getting through.

UCH also bungled my referral from my GP, and it took many months to get my initial appointment. I hope that the hospital can improve its administration so that communication is easier and smoother for patients.

Anything else?

What matters at the end of the day are the doctors and staff. I have great confidence in everyone at the fracture clinic, and I'd really recommend the clinic to anyone looking for expertise in these areas.

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Responses

Response from University College Hospital

Many thanks for taking the time to give us some feedback about the orthopaedic care you received at UCLH. I am extremely pleased that you had such a positive experience. You have raised an issue regarding telephone access for advice – I am pleased to inform you that we have recently appointment a Clinical Nurse Specialist to assist patients in their journey; before, during and after their stay in hospital. The post-holder is ensuring that patients are fully prepared for surgery, receive prompt and appropriate care during their inpatient stay and are supported by telephone after they are discharged. Patients should now be given relevant contact details do so that questions such as yours can be easily answered.

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