"A really humbling experience!"

About: Royal Sussex County Hospital

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I am really lost for words. I was a patient in the millennium wing off and on during June to August 2112. I have never been admitted as an emergency before the three times I came to this at hospital although I have had operations in the past elsewhere. I really do not think I would have made it if I had not been a patient here.

How the nurses managed to work such long shifts is beyond me. They frequently arrived early and left late. Without exception they maintained their humour and compassion and although they could be rushed off their feet, especially during an emergency they always made things easier if they had the chance (e.g. Sorting out a painful cannula or if possible giving me an update on treatment). They were really kind and helpful and that makes a lot of difference when you face a life-threatening illness. As I was admitted three times I was treated by different teams and I felt that the standard of treatment was second to none, as far as the nurses are concerned.

The ancillary staff were superb too. If they had time,they would have a brief chat and wish me well. Sometimes they put my food to one side when I was delayed by treatment. They were a happy outgoing group and as that was my world at the time that made a big difference.

For their part, the doctors and consultants were excellent. At first no one knew what was wrong with me but I was going,down hill fast. They explained what the plan was if I started to go into a coma and they did not pull their punches when they told me of my potential prognosis (50% survival rate at best). I was kept informed at all times when appropriate and I was treated with dignity and respect - so I was prepared for the worst if needs be.

When I was admitted on the second occasion, I needed to get an ambulance via 999. Upon my arrival in A&E I was put on a trolley in a clinical area near a work station. I have read a fair amount in the press about patients on trolleys (albeit in my case in a bay) but was where I needed to be at 2 a.m. as it was easier that way to keep an eye on me, which is what I needed at the time. The staff there could not have been kinder even though they were swamped with patients. When the consultant in A & E did assess me he said I did exactly the right,thing to come in - he did not have to say it but it made a big difference as calling 999 is no easy thing. For the rest of the summer I was really ill but the Royal Sussex was there for me, especially when I needed time at the acute medical unit. Being in hospital is no panacea and I am old enough to realise experience varies but all I can say was that mine was second to none.

In sum, being in the millennium ward though no fun was for me a deeply humbling experience. The staff there awesome and I know I was really lucky to have people like that around when I feared the worst. Thank you!

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Response from Royal Sussex County Hospital

Thank you for your thoughtfulness in writing and for your praise of the staff in the Millenium Wing. It is always such a pleasure to read of the difference that kindness and compassion can make at such difficult times. Our hospitals are blessed with many fine clinicians, nurses and support teams and I know that your kind words will mean a great deal to them.

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