ALL too often these days, one reads in the national press of the poor quality of medical service provided in NHS hospitals, particularly for older patients. Having just spent five days in the James Ward at the Conquest Hospital, I can definitely say that such strictures do not apply there.
To start with, I was still explaining my symptoms (a slight discomfort in my chest) to the 999 receptionist, when the ambulance arrived outside my house. Two efficient paramedics then gave me an initial test, and decided to drive me to the A&E department of the Conquest Hospital.
Here, within 30 minutes, I was seen by three doctors, and having been moved here and there found myself in James Ward.
Because my problem, in the scheme of things, was low level, I was able, not only to experience nothing but kindness and professional care myself, both by day and night, but also to see and hear what was going on with the other (mainly elderly) patients in the ward, some of whom not only suffered from heart problems, but also from varying degrees of dementia.
Without exception, all were dealt with in the most patient, kindly and professional manner.
I appreciate that everybody has the same experience, but when speaking to one of the dementia-suffering patients, I said: “They treat you well here, don’t they?” and he replied “Yes, but I prefer the Conquest”. I couldn’t agree more.