"Poor advice, avoidable infection"

About: Northern General Hospital / General surgery

(as the patient),

I attended Bev Stokes Day Surgery at Sheffield Northern General Hospital for a circumcision. The day of surgery was perfectly fine and the staff were friendly. The operation was fairly standard and went well, and within an hour of waking from the general anaesthetic.

I was given five dressings (10 x 10 non-woven swabs) to replace as the original would likely fall off. I used all five of these in as many days (Though they didn't provide anything to seal them so I used plasters). The healing process was going smoothly, but I felt I still needed to apply dressings after showering for at least another few days, as the wound was still fresh.

After visiting six pharmacies I couldn't find any suitable dressing for this type of wound. I called Bev Stokes and spoke to one of the nurses to ask if I could collect more from the surgery. She insisted that I was only given the replacement dressing for the first day and that after that I didn't require dressings at all. I was sceptical about this as I knew what felt comfortable and the current state of the healing process, but she insisted that I do not need a dressing.

The next day I went without the dressing and, after days of barely noticing the wound, it was very uncomfortable. By the evening some swelling had returned. By the morning, after just one day without a dressing, I had a full blown infection and was prescribed antibiotics.

While this is a type of wound vulnerable to infection, I had been washing daily and it was healing well with absolutely no signs of infection. It is clear that it is due to the poor advice and lack of concern from the nurse which caused me to become infected and that this was completely avoidable.

This makes me feel that once I [the patient] have left the hospital my health is no longer the concern of the clinic, and that they're reluctant take any interest in a patients own concerns. This led to an avoidable infection.

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Response from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for taking the time to share your comments with us, and we hope that you are now recovering from your procedure,

We are very sorry that your after care, following surgery has not met the high standards we would normally expect our patients to receive. We would like to look into this further in order to consider how these difficulties could have been avoided. Please contact our Patient Services Team on 0114 271 2400 or email PST@sth.nhs.uk in order for us to obtain further information.

We appreciate it when patients take the time to give us feedback, and always welcome comments and suggestions for how we can improve.