"I was admitted at the beginning ..."

About: William Harvey Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

I was admitted at the beginning of April for a abdominal hysterectomy on the Kennington Gynaecological Ward . I was expecting to stay for 3 days but due to minor complications stayed for 6 nights. During my stay the 'deep clean' that all hospitals have been having took place.

1. Pace of Work. I was amazed by the pace that all the staff on the ward and supporting the ward work at. Their work is full on and beds are rarely empty for more than half an hour, if that and the staff are always busy. Often patients need to press the buzzer to call for help and, despite the pace of work, someone comes quickly. You may not get what you've asked for straight away - perhaps it's something that is important to you but not urgent - but you don't feel that you are helpless and that no one will answer your call if it's an emergency.

2. Responsibility. Many of us can make a mistake at work and no harm is done but here everyone has to work fast, hard and if they make a mistake it matters and can even be matter of life or death. I have great admiration for people who are willing to take on that responsibility as I don't think I could cope - nor could many people - especially working such very long shifts.

3. Cleanliness. Sitting listlessly in bed I had plenty of time to watch beds prepared for new patients again and again, the daily cleaning routine, and incidental cleaning. Only once did another patient comment that she didn't think a spill of urine had been cleaned up properly - it was wiped up promptly but the area wasn't disinfected afterwards and we thought it should have been. I had heard of people getting infected wounds and was a bit concerned as mine had to be redressed and examined by a number of people quite a number of times but it healed beautifully. During my stay the deep clean took place so the staff were even busier than I expect they usually are and the ward manager (?) insisted on being there for the whole event to make sure it went well. We patients had to move around a bit but the nurses checked we were OK often. Considering all that had to be packed away, taken down, cleaned and put back it was quite amazing.

4 Kindness. The staff were just amazingly kind. They had so much to do, so much responsibility and worked such long hours – how did they manage to be so kind too?

As you can see from my comments I had a very positive experience on Kennington Ward – I believe the manager is really is quite special and has a great deal of respect from her team.

What could be improved

Improvements? There was one thing that needs improving, but not actually on the ward. Women were often waiting for about 36 hours for a scan of some sort. It may not sound long but the plan for their care seemed to be on hold until they had had a scan and a number of women went home once they had had one. I imagine scanning equipment is expensive and then it needs to be staffed but having people taking a bed and waiting must cost money too.

Story from NHS Choices

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