Your stories

We like to hear from you. Here are some stories our patients have shared with us, as told by them and the people who care for them. Do you have a story you would like to tell us? We would love to hear from you. Please get in touch with the Trust's communications team by emailing rduh.comms@nhs.net.

June 2024 – The valuable role of Volunteers 

Volunteers at the Royal Devon provide invaluable help supporting the work of the Trust; enriching the experiences of our patients through supporting staff teams and complementing the core values and activities of the Trust. In this story we hear from Mark and Rosie, who volunteer in North Devon District Hospital and the RD&E respectively. They discuss why they became a volunteer and what tasks they undertake in their roles. They also describe the training and support they receive as volunteers and how volunteering has brought them a sense of fulfilment and purpose.

May 2024 – Innovative Care in Haematology

In this story we hear from Phil, who was diagnosed with Leukaemia in June 2023. After an initial course of chemotherapy, Phil was offered further immunotherapy treatment which he could receive via a computerised ambulatory delivery device (CADD) pump. This enabled him to return home to his family and continue gentle activity. The CADD pump vastly improved his quality of life and reduced the pressures on acute inpatient resources. Phil was the first Royal Devon patient to receive cancer treatment via a CADD pump. In his story, Phil describes receiving excellent care from the Haematology unit in Exeter and the benefits of using the CADD pump.

 

April 2024 – 12 Years of follow-up care with Ophthalmology

In this story we hear from Terry, who has retinal vein occlusion which impairs his vision. Over the past 12 years Terry has attended frequent appointments at the West of England Eye Unit (WEEU) at RD&E Wonford to be monitored and receive intravitreal injections. Terry describes his experience of appointments both before and after transformational change that the ophthalmology service has implemented at WEEU. He expresses the frustration of waiting times at appointments and of waiting to receive future appointment bookings.

Working with Voluntary and Community partners

In this story we hear from Wendy who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2022 and her daughter and carer Vickie who have both benefited from attending Seachange. Seachange is a charity providing community support to keep the people of Budleigh, East Devon, happy and healthy at home. Wendy highlights the benefits of the ‘postural stability’ classes, implemented by RD staff who work in Falls Prevention and Frailty. Vickie describes how attending classes with her Mum has equipped her to better care for her Mum at home. By working in partnership with the voluntary sector, the trust can support people to remain well at home.

Having my baby at home

In this story, generated through collaboration with the Maternity and Neonatal Voices Partnership (MNVP), we hear from Georgina, who requested to have her first baby at home. During her pregnancy Georgina received good antenatal care and felt midwives built a good relationship with her and her husband. Georgina felt listened to and supported to have a home birth with a large for gestational age (LGA) baby. Georgina gave birth to her daughter at home and a significant tongue tie was noted and a referral swiftly made. Georgina shares how the speed of this intervention enabled her to re-establish breast feeding.

 

Heart Failure Remote Monitoring Pilot

This story features an interview with Harold, who has an ongoing heart condition. Harold agreed to take part in a remote monitoring pilot and was supplied with equipment to monitor his condition from home. The technology allowed Harold to record daily information about his blood pressure, heart rate and weight which was then received remotely by the heart failure team at North Devon District Hospital. During six weeks of monitoring, the team helped stabilise Harold’s symptoms, whilst avoiding unnecessary hospital admissions. The funding for this pilot came from NHS England’s Innovation for Healthcare Inequalities Programme (InHIP), which aims to address local healthcare inequalities experienced by deprived populations, through the use of the latest health technologies and medicines.

Cancer Care with the Royal Devon

This story features an interview with Sarah, who was diagnosed with primary breast cancer in June 2021. Sarah describes receiving good clinical care across a range of cancer services over the following 15 months. Sarah found the electronic patient record system helpful in providing information about the progress of her care throughout her patient journey.

Patient discharge 

This story features an interview with Georgina, who was admitted to the emergency department with severe abdominal pain. After being operated on successfully, Georgina was keen to be discharged from hospital as soon as possible. She shares her experience of waiting to be discharged and the delay, partly due to waiting for medication.  

Ensuring accessibility of our facilities

This story features Ruth, parent carer of Rosie, 7, who is disabled. Ruth explains that there is currently no suitable toilet facility available at the Wonford site, to accommodate her daughters needs. Ruth has requested a ‘Changing places toilet’ facility to be installed to better support disabled patients and visitors to the site.

 

Royal Devon Discharge Lounges

Staff and patients talk about their experiences of the discharge lounge at our North and East sites and the benefits they bring to the Trust.

 

Acute Hospital at Home Virtual Ward Care

Sally has had heart palpitations since her 20’s and talks about her positive experience of the virtual ward. Sally was admitted to the Acute Medical Unit at RD&E and given a Kardia monitor to take home.

Research experience with the Royal Devon

A carers perspective on being involved in research experience and the positive impact the Hero Project had on her partners mobility.

Joined-up working to support patients with a learning disability

First orthopaedic patients of the Nightingale

The NHS Nightingale Exeter was initially part of the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic, caring for nearly 250 patients with COVID-19 from across Devon, Somerset and Dorset. It has now been transformed into a state-of-the-art facility and is home to a number of services. The first Orthopedic patients to use the facility talk about their procedures and their overall experience of the hospital.

Drive-through at NDDH

The Trust has been exploring the use of drive-through to deliver some patient care, and patients who have taken part have given it their stamp of approval. In this video, patients who have experienced some of our drive-through services share their thoughts about it.

Rob and Jayne

Jayne Gater was the youngest person to be diagnosed with a dementia at the Trust. Following years of cognitive decline without a diagnosis, Jayne was diagnosed with dementia with Lewy bodies during an admission to North Devon District Hospital in January 2020. She was experiencing hallucinations at age 57, and was diagnosed at age 59. From the point of diagnosis to the end of her life, Jayne and her partner and carer Rob were supported by our Admiral Nursing team. In this patient story, Rob shares his experience of caring for Jayne and being supported by the service.

Alan

Alan has multiple myeloma, a type of bone marrow cancer. During the COVID-19 pandemic he needed to continue with treatment and have appointments with his consultants. During the pandemic, we put in place significant changes to the way we ran our NHS services to keep our patients and staff safe. Alan experienced some of these changes first-hand. Here is what he had to say about the care he has received and the changes we put in place.

Samantha

Potassium is part of a renal profile, the most commonly ordered test in pathology. High potassium is potentially a life-threatening medical emergency. Samantha shares her story about how some of her blood samples misleadingly showed high potassium levels, which meant she had to attend hospital unnecessarily. She talks about the impact this had on her life. Dr Tom Lewis, consultant microbiologist at NDHT, shares his work with GP practices to improve how blood samples are collected and processed to avoid this from happening - all it takes is a simple centrifuge.

Alma

Alma came to the Emergency Department at North Devon District Hospital after falling at home. Tracey, urgent care nurse in the Pathfinder team, saw Alma whilst she was in hospital and her daughter Ruth, and worked with them to plan Alma’s discharge. Tracey listened to what Alma and Ruth both wanted and worked with them and a local residential home to arrange the best short-term solution before Alma was ready to return home. Alma felt ready to return home and regained her independence within days thanks to Tracey’s hard work.

Simon 'Storm' Norman

Simon 'Storm' Norman was admitted to North Devon District Hospital after a gall bladder stone blocked his pancreas. He needed to be put into an induced coma for nearly one month. Storm and his wife Carol talk about their experience, including what it felt like to be in a coma, and how the nursing team helped the couple and their 7-year-old son during this difficult time.

Joyce and Ann

Joyce is receiving care at home. Joyce and her daughter Ann talk about what it's like to receive care at home and the impact it has had on her independence.

Mavis and George

One of our patients, Mavis, and Lynn Gill, Parkinson's nurse specialist, talk about how a cat called George has made all the difference.  

 

Last updated: June 26, 2024.