"First a patient, recently an observer… a few..."
About: Royal Lancaster Infirmary Royal Lancaster Infirmary Lancaster LA1 4RP
I would like to offer some reflections based on my own experience as a patient at Lancaster Royal Infirmary and currently as dispassionate observer. Last year I had minor surgery on my vocal chords. During the early stages of my treatment, I saw two consultants and came into contact with a range of support staff. Subsequently, I attended a pre-operative assessment clinic and was then operated upon to resolve my problem. At every stage and on every visit I encountered reassurance, kindness, concern and a thoroughly professional approach from staff at all levels—from receptionists, through support and nursing staff, the ENT consultants themselves, the anaethesia team etc. While attending clinics, it was especially interesting to note the positive manner in which reception staff assisted patients who were perhaps unhappy or worried about their circumstances. I found it heartening to witness the friendly and sympathetic manner in which people’s problems were understood and resolved. My queries were answered fully and care was taken to ensure that I understood the advice I was being given. There was much evidence that all that was happening was supported by careful cross-checking and review. I found the consistent atmosphere of calm confidence demonstrated by everyone helped me enormously. I am certain I could not have been in better hands. All of the above has been brought to mind again recently. For several months I have been accompanying someone to oncology appointments including visits for tests, scans, chemotherapy and consultant reviews. I have been acting as an observer as my friend is, understandably, extremely worried about her condition. It’s a different department with different personnel, but I have noted precisely the same attitudes that characterised my experience as a patient. At every level, the staff have shown unwavering warmth, respect, alertness and rigour and from my point of view as an onlooker I can see the very positive effect such encounters are having on my friend. You seem to have fostered a culture in which nothing is too much trouble so far as a patient’s welfare is concerned. Your staff seem to be so supportive of their patients and so willing to support one another, and to seek assistance when they need it, in working towards the best outcomes for those in their care. You employ some truly remarkable individuals and acting together they function as very highly effective teams. Finally, thank you very much for what you have done for me in the past and for what you are doing for my friend now. I would not hesitate to recommend this hospital to anyone in need of care.