"Good care but little information on Culm Ward"

About: Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford) / General medicine

(as the patient),

I was admitted as a day patient to Culm Ward West at 9.00am nil by mouth from 5am. As there were no beds, my sats and bloods were taken in the relatives room where I stayed for a couple of hours. then onto a bed and put in the passage outside as there was no room on the ward. Went down for the scan at about 12.30pm and was told in detail what would be done and what might go wrong, this was originally booked for 11.30 am.

After the scan I was returned to the ward and told that I had been booked for the first of two X-rays to check my lung had not collapsed. this did not happen till about 3.30.

Returned to the ward and left. The staff nurse gave me the impression that I was a nuisance being on their ward. I felt like I was not allowed a drink of water or any thing, their only explanation seemed to be that the doctors were paranoid in case anything went wrong. When I asked about the next X-ray I was told it was booked for 5.00pm. In fact I did not go down till 7.30pm. Returned to the ward and told that I would now have to wait untill a doctor reported on the X-ray before I could go home. By 9.00pm I was really fed up. There seemed to be no information at all, and I still had not had a drink!

My wife had accompanied me, if we had known it was going to take as long she could have gone home and awaited my call instead of hanging around without any information.

I got dressed and prepared to leave as I had had enough. At this point a auxillary nurse and duty doctor stopped me and told me I really was quite ill and to come and look at the X-ray. At this point I could see my lung had collapsed, and returned to my bed.

From this point things moved really quickly. Three doctors came and explained to me about putting a chest drain in. Every procedure was explained in detail so that I understood everthing.

The drain was fitted by two very sympathetic lady doctors who explained every move as they made it.

Back for another X-ray to check the lung. this time, reported on straight away.

Hereafter the night staff and day staff were brilliant. I was kept informed of how my sats were doing at all times. They showed real teamwork together and kept me informed on everthing they did and why. I was well looked after and fed. Hospital really was very good!

A final X-ray on Sunday afternoon which was reported on quite quickly and the doctor who had originally made me stay on the friday night, came to discharge me. She was really kind and I appreciated the comments she made.

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