Ian had his colonoscopy yesterday. It went pretty well. He was welcomed to the hospital and shown his room, which was like a cross between a 'Travelodge' and a hospital. All the staff were very polite and friendly. He saw a nurse straight away who filled out forms, did a few tests and prepared him for the procedure; he saw the consultant briefly and then he was wheeled down to theatre area. He was gone for an hour or so and while I waited the nurse bought me a cup of tea. While he was gone the nurse set up the room for his return with a monitor and an oxygen cylinder and made his outpatients appointment for him. He was asleep for about an hour after they brought him back but after that he woke slowly and had a drink and a cup of tea and a sandwich (the food was like the food you would get in an average hotel and served by someone with a badge on that said 'waitress'). The nurse asked me if he needed a certificate for work, checked up on him regularly and once he was awake and had been to the toilet removed his cannula and pronounced him fit to leave. The consultant came in and said that his bowel looked perfectly normal but had taken several biopsies to ensure that there was nothing there that couldn't be seen by the naked eye and after that we left. Ian was a bit unsteady and tired but basically well and we were home by 9.30. The whole thing had taken 6 hours from start to finish.
There were several things that struck me as a contrast to my recent experiences with the NHS. Firstly the whole procedure was very efficient from start to finish, the staff were all pleasant, friendly and efficient (even though they were busy) , the food was something that you wanted to eat and people were considerate enough to get me a cup of tea while I sat there! All of these things made a big difference to our experience and I'm sure if you were unwell would make you feel like you could relax and get better and not have to spend your energy trying to fight the system and to get out as soon as possible My only concern was how on earth they managed to keep the carpets clean and free from MRSA!