"An Appreciation of St Mary's Trauma Department"
About: St Mary's Hospital (London) St Mary's Hospital (London) London W2 1NY
Posted by Janet Falush
I arrived at St Mary's after a car accident to a team waiting for me. Multiple tests were carried out and a neck brace fitted.
I was put in a large room on Major Trauma with its own bathroom. My experience was positive thoughout. The nurses were kind and efficient; I had visits from the neurosurgeon twice a day and noted how much things had changed for the better since I last had hospital experience. You were only talked about at the ward meetings before the ward round was started; when you were visited you were talked to.
I was impressed with the food. There was a huge choice of tempting meals and they came piping hot. The deserts were ideal - small and light. My only criticism is that it would be good to have more that those who cannot sit up can eat unaided - eg filled wraps.
I was sent home two days later with orders to wear my neck brace continually.
At a seven-week check up the Conultant tested my reactions and found them brisk. After an Xray followed by MRI and consultation with the spine specialist he said I must stay in hospital as vertebrae were getting perilously close to my spinal cord. The Consultant then made considerable efforts to get me back into the Major Trauma Unit which I much appreciated. Over the next few days I had many visits: from different staff, another neurosurgeon and several registrars. They went to considerable lengths to explain the problem and tell me about the bifacet operation they recommended, drawing pictures as necessary.
Pre and post operation I continued to be impressed by the quality of the nursing, both in terms of technical competence and kindness and compassion. Medication was brought on time and good briefings given when shifts changed. If ever I used my bell someone came immediately.
I had wonderful care post operatively. I was impressed with the number of linen changes I was given - sometimes without my even realising it was being done. I had a room to myself except one night when I was on the bay. Then it was impossible to sleep much with doctors talking and beepers going off continually but a light I could control meant I could read.
I got very fond of the nurses and was sad to be sent for my last night to Orthopedic. I noticed that this ward was not quite as efficient as Trauma - eg in delivering medication on time.
I felt well cared for when I got home. The Consultant rang to enquire how I was doing and again phoned to respond to a distress call about nerve pain in my arm, bringing forward my appointment to see her. The only glitch was when an appointment for an MRI scan was after my appointment with her; three month delays after cancellations of subsequent appointments meant that the scan was not looked at until 9 months afterwards. Fortunately there was no problem.
Overall my experience was excellent and my neck in better shape than it was before the accident. I tell people continually how wonderful is the NHS