"Staff were calm and courteous, but clearly..."
About: Frenchay Hospital Frenchay Hospital Bristol BS16 1JE
I was a "day-case" patient, which in hospital parlance means I was a quick job, in and out within 12 hours.
In Frenchay, this means you go in at 7:30 and hang around until there is a slot available for your surgery, I'm not sure how this is more efficient than having fixed appointments, but the powers that be have clearly decided that the inconvenience of having to sit in a waiting room, not knowing when you'll be seen, is a necessary evil.
On arrival, bleary-eyed and barely awake, I was "greeted" by the most miserable receptionist it has been my displeasure to meet, she grunted a few questions at me and told me to sit down in the waiting room.
Shortly afterward, the nursing team emerged and started calling us in, a few at a time. Thankfully I was one of the first, so I headed out to what I can only describe as a corridor with cubicles a wholly inadequate space for the nurses to work in. I was introduced to my nurse by name and from that point on, everything improved.
They took me through a few standard pre-op questions, and we had a friendly chat despite her clearly being under the kosh, with a mass of patients to deal with behind me, I never felt rushed or unwelcome.
I then wen't into a second waiting room where for dignities sake, men were kept away from the ladies as we were all put into our gowns. it was generally quite pleasant, television and reading materials were provided and the seating was comfortable enough that I managed to have a little nap.
Some time later (an hour or so) the hubbub from the processing corridor stopped and most of the nurses disappeared to the ward, ready to recieve us post-op. A few remained to carry out the thankless task of sending people home, those who were not lucky enough to secure a bed for the day...
I was soon introduced to my surgeon, a delightful lady, she explained that due to circumstances out of her control, and anaesthetist was unavailable, thankfully my surgery could be performed under local, so I was given the option and took it.
The surgery was handled swiftly, and with as much attention to my comfort that I could have wanted. The post-op was not so good however, once again the nurses were lovely, but simply had too much to do, so could not pay much heed to me. I hung around on the ward for about an hour, and when the necessary paperwork was done, I wandered off with no painkillers or fresh dressings...
Honestly, given the situation the staff were put it, I could not have asked for better care, but I do think that the sheer volume of patient they were expected to treat, with no space to do it in, was abysmal.