"Experience of Heartlands Hospital Ward 1"

About: Heartlands Hospital / Gynaecology

(as the patient),

Attended for elective total hysterectomy in June 2012.

The experience was a bit weird due to the emphasis on clinical care and enhanced discharge. No problem with the surgeon or the procedure, but the physio came to chat about post-op exercises etc, prior to the surgery and I never saw them again, even though it would have been helpful to have some input after the op, as patient could discuss real time questions more appropriately. She also advised that nursing staff are not permitted to lift or assist in any way that would involve physical assistance.

The information I received before the op suggested that patient would receive help to mobilise and shower day after the op, but no mention was made by any member of staff, and all patients on ward were left to their own devices.

The drug round seemed a bit chaotic as some staff did not seem confident using the electronic prescribing system, and the anti-thrombosis injections that I was to receive were not administered. I understand I was not the only patient who was overlooked.

The discharge was chaotic, as no discharge letter or medication was available, and I was discharged, but the letter and medication had to be picked up the following day. The district nurse was booked to remove alternate staples 7 days post op, and remainder 10 days post op, but contacted me to say it was too early, and arrived 10 days post op to remove all.

The staff were quite pleasant, but I felt some sadly lacked the 'human touch' when it came to little things that I would have liked as a patient, e.g. I found it difficult to manoeuvre in bed due to the surgery, and was at times very uncomfortable, pillows slipping and sheets crinkled up, which I was unable to do anything about.

The standard of cleaning left a lot to be desired, as only the easiest accessible areas were cleaned, and my bedside table was not touched in the three days I spent there. The water was lukewarm, jugs and glasses have never been updated in all the years I have been going into hospital.

Fortunately I was fairly able to help myself, went with the flow so I accepted the situation, but perhaps the experience may have impeded the recovery of an older, less able patient in that situation.

A holistic approach to the overall care of the patient would be the difference between feeling just like 'another patient' and a human being.

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Response from Heart of England Foundation Trust We have made a change

Thank you for your feedback on your recent experience of Ward 1 at Heartlands Hospital. I would like to offer my apologies that your experience was not at the standard we strive for.

I would like to assure you that each of your points raised will be addressed with the staff/departments concerned so other patients do not have the same experience as what you describe.

Ward 1 has recently brought in some changes’, these include regular reviews of patients experience & have recently introduced staff training workshops where we invite patients that are happy to share their experience of our service.

The feedback we have received from the staff following these workshops has been excellent, all staff reported the training has made an impact on the future care they will give. I believe these workshops are helping bring “the human touch” back to patients as you quite rightly mention.

If you are interested in helping with these workshops or wish to have feedback from the issues we will be addressing about your specific care, please do not hesitate to contact me on 0121 424 3505.

Rachel Small

Gynaecology Department