"I am thankful for the extreme professionalism..."
About: University Hospital Of North Durham University Hospital Of North Durham Durham DH1 5TW
What I liked
Throughout my care every member of staff on Ward 13 demonstrated immense professionalism to help me and my wife through a very difficult time. Everyone showed care and compassion and treated me as someone special. My case was complicated due to an accident and previous medical history, and therefore my recovery took much longer than anyone anticipated. We did find that at times we struggled to cope with the mental anguish. However the team always showed support and understanding and helped to guide me on the path towards recovery. It didn't seem to matter what time of day or night, staff went out of their way to ensure that I had all that I needed. Many of them particularly went that extra mile to help keep my spirits up. The whole team from the household support through to the Matron were very very good at their jobs, and we felt that we had become friends with them by the time I left the ward. All the surgical team from F1 to consultant surgeons were also supportive and showed empathy. I also experienced a stay on the ICU where staff were very thorough, and many who had remembered me from past visits. I also came into contact with the team of dieticians and the chaplaincy and in every encounter I was met with professional dedication and a very caring manner.
I cannot say thank you enough. Those two small words seem inadequate to describe the feeling I have about how every single person has made such a difference to me and helped me to get better. All of them deserve special mentions but I wouldn't want to leave anyone out by chance. I think the Ward 13 team are brilliant, and we are endebted them until our dying day.
What could be improved
The hospital management need to ensure that staff levels are maintained to the degree where all of the members of the team are not overworked and placed in undue stressfulness. I did witness how shortages in team numbers adversely affected loyal staff.
The physical hospital building also doesn't provide many comfortable sitting areas for relatives who can't wait by the bedsides.
The TV panels all need updating. If you are in the hospital for any length of time, you need to have some comfort or relaxation. I witnessed many people struggling with the location of the small screens and quality of display.
Choices of breakfast - I only had cereal or jam and bread options for 7 months - could be greatly improved. Even having toast would have been very welcome.