"I did enjoy my experience as an in-patient and I..."

About: Stafford Hospital

What I liked

I work as a Health Care Assistant, so here I was on the other side, in the Day Ward 7.30am Yikes!

As I approached the day ward receptionist, a smile greeted me and inside I thought I’m going to be ok. (Just because I work at the hospital doesn’t make me less nervous than anyone else). The HCA who called my name was very welcoming, she proceeded to book me in and show me to the waiting room and explain what I had to do next etc.

My consultant came onto the day ward and explained the procedure to me again and I confirmed I understood what I had agreed to in pre assessment. I also had a visit from the Anaesthetist, who confirmed any allergies. Great I’m thinking, feeling confident I went back to the waiting room to watch the TV until I was called.

My turn came to go down to theatre, I was escorted by the HCA and a theatre lady both offering loads of reassurance to me, while on my journey.

In theatre waiting room, the staff proceeded to tell me all the time what they was doing and the reasons why etc..

Next thing I remember is being woken up in recovery by a welcomed familiar face, phew I made it, was my first thoughts.

When the time was right, I was eventually moved onto a ward, ward 8 where I took up residency in the three-bedded bay with a window view and a welcoming bouquet of flowers. During my stay the staff team on ward 8 was all very good, tending to my needs/ requests and making me feel welcome and comfortable, nothing was too much trouble.

The Consultant came on the afternoon, same day to confirm everything had gone to plan, which made me feel very reassured and happy.

I had further visits during my stay from the Consultant, or his team, which was most welcoming, and reassuring.

The ward was clean and tidy and the beds were changed daily. The food was nice, offering choice and variety, compliments to the chef.

What could be improved

The only things I feel that needed improving was, the bank staff that came in to support the ward during the staff shortages.

1. The bank on night duty, told me I was not due any pain relief but luckily the regular staff nurse had discussed with me the pain relief options at tea time meds and had advised me what to take at bedtime etc. So I was able to discuss with the bank nurse my needs and encourage her to read the medication chart again.

2. Had the same issue the next night, again with bank staff working night duties, the regular HCA sorted the issue with a regular nurse from ward 8, much to my delight.

3. Comfort charts, was completed during the day by normally ward 8 staff, however a couple of occasions we had a bank staff covering our side. The only question I was asked was from the whole chart was “did I want a drink” which don’t get me wrong was very nice but none of the other questions was asked! Yet commented on, as in the question "Was I in any pain"? The answer was written No (so why was I taking pain relief)? Call button?

4. I do also feel the ward would have benefited from an extra HCA during the night shift. There was a lot of elderly ladies on the ward who required extra support, this support would have enabled the nurses to have got on with their job of giving out medications/drugs without the distractions at a reasonable time.

5. Food trolleys need to be heated to ensure the food is still warm, by the time it reaches the patients at the end of the ward.

More training for some of the bank staff, could be the answer here?

Anything else?

It was very reassuring to have visits from my consultant and his team during my stay. I did have the good fortune to thank him personally as I was leaving the ward for the discharge lounge.

I think its only good manners to remember that we all work as part of a team whoever we are. We all like to receive feedback whether it be constructive or complaints so we can all strive towards providing a good service.

That was my Easter break at Costa del Stafford fully inclusive SDGH; I would recommend this service to anyone.

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Response from Head of Patient Experience, Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Julie,

Thank you for taking the time to share your recent experiences as a patient in the Trust. I am delighted that this was a positive experience and have shared your comments and suggestions with the staff involved. Wishing you a speedy recovery from your operation.

Kind Regards