"I feel we are lucky to have this local hospital -..."

About: University Hospital Of North Durham

What I liked

My 9 year-old went through A&E to Treetops children's ward for surgery. The medical staff were all great - introduced themselves, asked if I had questions, explained everything and were all very personable. Nursing staff were generally excellent too, particularly anaesthetic nurses and some of the more attentive Treetops staff. All staff on the ward explained things and introduced themselves. Everyone from paramedics to ward staff treated my child very nicely and kindly. The environment was consistently very clean and tidy. I was very impressed by facilities for parents - food/drink kitchen, showers, pull-out beds and bedding and I felt very well cared-for along with my child. Free phone by the bed for me, and free TV was a godsend. The ward manager also did the rounds and checked people were happy. As a nurse myself I greatly value communication - probably above many other things - and being kept informed is always welcome.

What could be improved

We waited a frustratingly long time in A&E, for triage and then again for treatment. I had assumed children - particularly with an injury/post-accident might always be high priority but I fully accept A&E's need to triage as they do. It was just a disappointingly long process. Same for discharge - bit of a wait between being told we could go by medical staff and actual discharge; lots of sitting around and feeling I had to chase this. Ideally I would have been kept more informed - I don't think it takes much time to keep people briefed, but again I accept they are busy much of the time. I have to say that the parking charges at UHND are astronomical - £2.50 for the shortest pop-in; there should at least be a 'free' 15-minute grace period like some hospitals so that you can pop in and drop things off (maybe there is, but I didn't see any information about it).

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Response from University Hospital Of North Durham

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for providing feedback on your child's recent admission to the Accident & Emergency Department and Treetops Ward at University Hospital North Durham.

I am very pleased to hear that you both generally had a positive experience and that you are happy with the care your child received. However, I am sorry to read that you felt frustrated with both the admission and discharge processes.

The Trust is grateful for all feedback, positive or negative, as it means we can better understand what is important to our patients, and your kind comments and helpful sugestions regarding the car park will be shared with the relevant staff. For information, there are several "20 minute drop off bays" near to the main entrance, but I will highlight the fact that you could not find any signage regarding these.

Thank you for leaving your comments on NHS Choices.

Patient Experience Team

County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust

Tel: 0800 7835774