"I was treated with dignity and was included in all decisions. "

About: Aberdeen Royal Infirmary NHS Orkney NHS Shetland Raigmore Hospital / Gynaecology

(as the patient),

I was recently operated in for the removal of a large cyst and a hysterectomy. The operation took place at Raigmore in inverness.

My first indication that something might be a miss was bleeding following my Tamoxifen. I was scanned in Orkney then in Shetland and was impressed by the way in which this was handled, with medical staff who explained what was happening at every stage in the process.

As I have to avoid having anything put into my arms, following a bilateral mastectomy I had to have needles inserted into my foot, not an easy option. At no point did any of the folk dealing with me make me feel as if I was being a nuisance.

I saw the surgeon in Inverness and had a minor operation on Christmas eve to determine what might have caused the bleeding and whether there was any sign of cancer again. Both before and after the operation I had everything explained and went home with a discharge letter, which I could read and share with my doctor.

I was given the results of the scan and the operation, along with the decision to operate, within four weeks. I was impressed at the speed of which I was informed, given that it had been the christmas and new year period and the time it can take to get the results from an Aberdeen hospital.

I was given a definite date in late February with the provision that it could be earlier if there was a cancellation and I was able to take advantage of it. This was the case and I was able to have my operation in early February. At every stage of this experience in Inverness, I was treated with dignity and was included in all decisions. Because of my previous history I agreed wholeheartedly with the surgeons that I could have a hysterectomy when the cyst was being removed. I left the hospital several days later to fly home and again the airport was made aware that I should get preference when boarding. All staff at the airport were very helpful and made the trip home easier than it might have been.

Again I had a discharge letter which I discussed with my very helpful and supportive doctor. I feel that the reason I am recovering so quickly is because of the very good treatment at Raigmore and the support of my local doctor in allowing me to go to this hospital. Some very unfortunate experiences in ARI over the years (especially in regard to my cancer treatment) have made me feel devalued, unsafe and adamant that I will not go to this hospital again.

I would also like to note that Inverness was very clean, unlike the last ward in Aberdeen.

Finally I have just been told after 2 weeks my operattion that their is no sign of cancer with my surgeon taking the time to phone me and let me know. I could not better the treatment I had.

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Response from Linda Oldroyd, Nurse Consultant Patient Safety and Experience, NHS Grampian

It is good to hear of your positive experiences of care at Raigmore, but disappointing that you found care in Grampian to be below the standard all patients deserve.

We would like to assure all patients and carers that safety and cleanliness issues are taken very seriously by NHS Grampian and that we value all patients and staff for their contribution to the health and well being of our population. We hope that any future experiences you might have in Grampian are both safe and of high quality.

Thank you for taking the time to post this feedback.

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Response from Julie Tait, Patient Experience Officer, NHS Orkney

Dear Nifty159

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience of the healthcare services in Orkney, Shetland, Raigmore and Aberdeen with us.

We are very glad to hear that you have such a good relationship with your GP here in Orkney and that you found the care you received in the hospital to be of a good standard.

It is always difficult for Orkney residents to travel to other hospitals for care and treatment when they are unwell and we would like to thank you for taking the time to provide this feedback.

Finally, I would like to wish you a continued good recovery and am very pleased to hear that you recieved good news following your operation.

Kind regards

Julie Tait

Patient Experience Officer, NHS Orkney, Garden House, New Scapa Road, Kirkwall, KW15 1BH - julietait@nhs.net

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Response from Maimie Thompson, Head of Public Relations and Engagement, Chief Executive's Office, NHS Highland

picture of Maimie Thompson

Dear Nifty159

I have only just had sight of your posting - we only get automatic alerts for residents of Highlands but of course we treat and look after lots of other people. You have had quite a time of it and so its reassuring to get feed-back that when you have need our services and teams to be at their best they have not let you down. Time and time again the issue of dignity and respect and feeling that people really do care about you rise to the top as being so important. And this even more in the case with cancer - it must be such a huge relief to have it confirmed that there is no sign of cancer.

I have just responded to another response in Patient Opinion where the opinion was that Raigmore was the "shabbiest hospital in the country". I am glad that was not your opinion. The hospital actually had a very good recent Inspection Report but also - people provide care and compassion. Standards of buildings can make that harder but its the people that can make a real difference. We try hard to get all elements right but we can always improve and feed-back always helps.

Thank you


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