"Very happy!"

About: Royal Lancaster Infirmary

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I attended LRI Womens Day Surgery for a laparoscopy in January this year. I suffer from anxiety and social phobia, and was very anxious on arrival. There was some confusion as the surgeon I was supposed to be having surgery under was not in the department, and I was told that I and around 3 other ladies would be haviing surgery under another consultant - this did not do much to allay my anxiety.

All the staff on the ward were welcoming, friendly and efficient, despite a heavy workload and a full ward of patients waiting for surgery. I had the intitial consultation with the anaesthatist very quickly, and this was then followed by a visit from the surgeon, who was reassuring, welcoming and very professional - I was made to feel very welcome.

I was called in for surgery (much to my relief) within an hour of being admitted. However, there was no trolley to take me to the anaesthetist - not that this was a problem for me, but I could not help overhearing some comments made by the ward nurse and the anaesthatists that this was due to a lack of communication. The anaesthetist was very kind indeed, he made me feel so much more at ease, even though I was on the verge of a panic attack.

When I awoke from the operation, I was immediately put at ease by the nursing staff, taken to the ward and my pain management had already been dealt with, which was explained to me. I was offered fresh drinking water, then a cup of tea and a biscuit as soon as I was feeling more myself, swiftly followed by a very welcome sandwich! My father was allowed to come and collect me, despite it being a female ward, as soon as I felt well enough to leave, and my pain had been brought under control, and I had all the follow-up information needed.

I cannot fault the staff on the ward, the anaesthetists or the surgeon. They made what was potentially a horrific experience into a much more bearable one. However, the ward was so busy, that on some occasions I did notice some breakdowns in communication, but these were swiftly resolved.

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Response from Royal Lancaster Infirmary

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