Patient stories

So that we can continually improve our services for our patients, it’s really important that we listen to you and learn from your experiences, whether positive or negative.

That’s why we’re encouraging as many of our patients as possible to share their experiences of their time in our hospitals with us.

This feedback will help us to know where we need to focus and where we can make changes, as well as ensure the right people hear about it when you want to praise them for the great care you received.

Hearing directly from our patients is really important for our staff and your story in your own words can be incredibly powerful.

So please take a few minutes to complete this form and tell us your story. Your feedback could help us make changes which could benefit you in the future, other patients, or even your own family and friends.

We share a patient story at every induction we hold for our new staff, as well as with our Trust Board when it meets monthly.

Stories are always told anonymously, unless we contact you beforehand to gain your consent to use your personal information, and to share your story more widely.

Remember, this form is for you to share your story only - you won’t receive an immediate response from us. Instead:

Kate's story

Patient in bed smiling

I came to be a patient at Queen’s Hospital in December 2016 after a turbulent five weeks of continual migraines, vomiting and a dubious looking CAT scan (which we now know was a benign brain tumour) at Colchester A&E that was sent to the Neurology Team for a second opinion. I was blue lighted down the A12 on a Monday morning, in the peak of rush hour, unconscious, with the surgical team ready and waiting. Just a few hours later, I was recovering well from my External Ventricular Drain (EVD) operation.

My first, genuine, heart felt thank you is to the kind person who cut and shaved my hair to enable the drain to be inserted into my head. I’m very proud of my hair. So, when I eventually surfaced in Sahara B ward to find that a big strip of my hair had gone, I was a smidge freaked. That was until I ascertained that my lifesaving undercut had been blended so well with the parting of my hair that you can’t even tell I have hair missing. In the words of my hairdresser: “That is a very impressive job, they’ve really gone above and beyond to factor it in with the rest of your hair.” And that’s the point; they did take the time to think about it and they didn’t have to. They could have taken all my hair off or just shaved it in a non-flattering way because if the priority is to remove fluid that is essentially boiling my brain, ‘discussing hair dos’ is probably just wasting precious time. But somebody stopped, thought about the emotional impact on me and demonstrated a level of empathy that is really hard to come by these days.

And then there’s Sahara B ward. I can handon-heart say that the six days I spent on Sahara B were some of the most positive and pleasurable I have had. I remember one nurse called Maria (who I sensed had been stitched up with an extra-long shift) who never dropped her smile once and remained polite and extremely professional throughout. There is one nurse who I have to extend a personal thank you to – Louise who was working a nightshift one night when I was having what can only be described as a ‘ridiculous meltdown’. Louise was extremely kind and patient with me – she even went to the effort of making me a hot chocolate to help me sleep. And last, but by no means least I have to say a huge, massive, profound thank you to the utterly gorgeous and very talented Mr Vindlacheruvu. This guy is without doubt not only the hero of the whole situation, but my very own hero who categorically saved my life. I hope that you are genuinely proud of all your colleagues because they are truly remarkable and they represent everything that is fantastic about the NHS. Their hard work, commitment and compassion means so much to me, that I will always think the world of every single one of them.

Jennifer's story

Jennifer's story

My GP said that because of my symptoms I needed to have a colonoscopy. To be honest, I was dreading it because I had had a dreadful experience at Queen’s Hospital about 10 years ago.

This time, the whole experience was amazing. It made me appreciate that we expect the clinical care to be good and, as long as it is, then what matters to the patient is how they are made to feel. 

It all started with the wonderful Raj phoning me a few days after I saw my GP and together we arranged an appointment date and time. It was so good not to just be sent an appointment and then the difficulty of trying to change it. He explained what would happen during the procedure and more than once asked me if I had any questions. He left me feeling so much better.

The medication to prepare for the procedure arrived as Raj had said through the post – how easy! And the instructions were easy to understand. However I really struggled to take it. It was awful but it worked.

On the day of my appointment my husband dropped me off and I was pointed to the department by the receptionist. I couldn’t find it straight away although it is clearly marked.  A lovely member of staff asked me if I wanted help as I looked lost and showed me to the door.

I was actually almost there but being nervous I missed the signs. The lady didn’t work in the department but had bothered to stop, that meant such a lot. Then I saw the receptionist of the department and a nurse, they were both brilliant and really put me at my ease. Then I met Raj who showed me to a bed and explained in detail how to prepare and   I was given disposable pants and a gown and a dressing gown.

I saw a doctor in a private room who checked my history and again asked if I had any questions.  They then took me into the treatment room. Everyone was kind and professional and my dignity was totally respected. I had a sedative and during the procedure was told what they were seeing on the screen and that they had found nothing unusual. I was congratulated on my preparation!  Then it was back to the bed area for a cup of tea and a biscuit. 

The cleaner asked me if I was warm enough and did I want a blanket, I had already been asked, but it was so kind of her. I told her that the place was spotless and how great she was at her job, she said she loved her job and all the team were very helpful.

I was given an evaluation form by Raj and loved that it asked if I had had “great” care – not “good enough” but “great”.  I love the aspiration.  Of course I did have “great” care. In fact it was such a good experience that I took the time to email the Chief Executive.

I met a neighbour a few weeks ago and she said she had a colonoscopy at Queen’s and was shocked at how good the experience it was. We exchanged notes and both agreed that Queen’s has improved so much.

So, thank you for all the wonderful improvements and the opportunity to share my experience.

Tell us your story

There are two parts to this form. Fill in your details then click next to tell us about your experience.

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