"Great care but wish I could have stayed longer"
About: Princess Anne Hospital Princess Anne Hospital Southampton SO16 5YA
I was transferred to Princess Anne following an emergency laparotomy for a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. My only comparable UK hospital stay prior to this one, was at a different hospital, following the birth of my son by Caesarean section - there, I had been cramped into a small room with 4 other new mothers and their babies - but here I was given a room to myself, with an ensuite, which felt like absolute luxury. During my stay I encountered some of the most caring, compassionate medical staff you could wish to meet - individuals that provided the warmth of care along with the medical attention, and my gratitude remains with them forever. As I had been up and moving fairly quickly after my Caesarean and also felt emotionally stable afterwards too, I initially assumed that my recovery after this operation would be similar but I was taken aback how much more physically painful it was along with an emotional hurricane that seemed to appear out of nowhere and left me sobbing and distressed. While I was in this state, a consultant came to tell me that I would be sent home today and that medically there would not be anything else to expect in terms of after-care. I do not mean to criticise the unit specifically as I am sure that the duration of my stay is standard throughout the country and would have been the same elsewhere but the fact is, I was not ready to leave the hospital. I think the assumption is that patients want to go home but with my husband at work, a near two year old child to look after and no family nearby, going back home in this physically and mentally frail state, was not conducive to my recovery. As I said previously, I do not mean this as a criticism of the unit but a more general point - if I had been given the option, I would have been very happy to pay to stay for a couple of additional nights to get a chance to feel stronger. Since returning home, I've had breakdowns, panic attacks and still feel very weak - I can't obviously say that this would not have happened if I had stayed on in hospital but I do think I it would have made a difference if I'd left when both consultant and I felt that I was ready to, not just the consultant alone.