In September 2017 I started with what I thought were severe indigestion attacks. I would feel pain in my upper torso, under my rib cage, which would travel around into my back. The attacks happened in the late afternoon / early evening and could last for a few hours or all night.

As a Crohn’s patient I am under the ongoing care of the Gastroenterologist Dr Green and the Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) nurses, Jeanette and Teresa. I can’t commend the IBD nurses highly enough.

Having Crohn’s can be frightening. Being able to speak to someone who is qualified and highly experienced in my situation has been of enormous help. The IBD Nurses are accessible, friendly, accommodating and brilliantly reassuring.

I talked with Teresa about what was happening and she advised me to see my GP for an initial examination and in the meantime she arranged tests. The following month I went for an Ultrasound Scan. Jeanette rang me with the results - I had gall stones. 

I was referred and saw Mr Mackay, Consultant General Surgeon who told me I would need my Gall Bladder removing. I arrived at the Surgical Admissions and Daycase Unit (SADU) early in the morning and was greeted by the friendly receptionists. The waiting area was already busy and I didn’t have to wait long before a Nurse called my name.

I was impressed with the care shown to me by the health care professionals. The Unit treats large numbers of patient’s day in, day out and to some extent I was prepared for that.

My experience was of being treated as an individual and with kindness

Every member of staff showed great compassions. Collectively and individually, they reassured me, giving me confidence in the individuals themselves and the hospital as a whole.

The next thing I knew I was awake in the Recovery Bay with a designated Nurse sat beside me asking how I felt and monitoring my progress. She explained that Mr Mackay was able to complete the procedure via keyhole surgery, things had gone smoothly and that, all being well, I’d be able to go home later that day and would not need to stay in hospital overnight.

Good people skills make all the difference.

Four people in particular left a lasting impression. They took time with me and I felt they were invested in me as a person. I am grateful for their professionalism, humanity, kindness and down to earth attitude.

The Nurse who admitted me was friendly and warm. He talked me through what was going to happen and got me ready with respect and good humour.

The Anaesthetist met with me prior to my operation. He was friendly and professional. He went through what was going to happen, but was honest about what could happen if they had to convert to an open procedure.

The Recovery Nurse was very caring, diligent and professional and never left my side. When I was a little wobbly after coming round, she quickly got blankets to warm me up, reassured me and kept checking me until I recovered.

The Consultant Mr Mackay was incredibly thorough during my initial consultation. He was respectful, polite, easy to talk to but very professional and straightforward. On the day of my operation, he stopped to chat in the waiting area and reassured me about the operation.