Building a Better Health Service

Post Operative Care The Patients Story

POCU provides post-operative care for surgical patients in University hospital Limerick who need optimised care but who do not require a high Dependency Unit (hDU) level of care. Patients are identified at the pre-operative assessment stage for POCU by the Anaesthetics team. POCU is located in the Critical Care Block at UhL and is currently open three and a half days per week with six beds available. Patient turnaround is 23 hours with the patient being transferred to a ward or hDU after this time depending on their condition. Through maximising the efficiency of elective surgery in POCU, it is possible to free up capacity in the system for unscheduled care, and this is in line with the Peri-operative Directorate strategic plan for 2016 to 2020.

Sean Moran's Story

Sean Moran was diagnosed with rectal cancer in November 2015. A treatment programme involving radiotherapy and chemotherapy followed by surgery was put in place for Sean from January 2016. It was effectively the first time he was in hospital and he really didn’t know what to expect from the experience. “I was conditioned to a certain extent by the general picture that is out there, one tends to hear more negative stories than positive stories about the HSE but I was extremely impressed with the way the system was organised with how comprehensive it is.”

“Before I started the treatment, there was really good information provided, in terms of what would be involved, what might happen, what could happen, etc and I was reassured all the way along. There were people to contact, they knew what was going on all the time and how to deal with it, I found that really reassuring. The excellence of this contact system was really typified by Emma McNamara, the Colorectal Co-ordinator, who was readily available for information and support through the whole journey, from November to September.” “The other thing I found was that the whole reception process, during radiotherapy, chemotherapy and surgery was very good in the sense that it was a very friendly, welcoming atmosphere, which for someone in my situation was invaluable, and that made the whole journey easier.”

Post-Operative Care Unit

After the surgery my first memory was coming out of the anaesthetic and somebody said ‘we are bringing you up to POCU Sean’. Arriving in POCU I could not believe how quiet it was, there was a great sense of calm about the place. It really was the ideal place to recover because of that. All the staff there, working under Mary Hannon, were excellent, positive and reassuring. The STOMA care team were also excellent, thank you to Mary and Brid for their care.”

Midwestern Cancer Information Centre

“The other thing which I want to mention is the Support Centre, that was something which I hadn’t expected at all. When one thinks of cancer treatment one thinks of the medical services, which were excellent but I also found the support services to be excellent, supportive and very kind, Maria is outstanding. Getting a diagnosis of cancer is not easy but going through the services here, and benefiting from the support has certainly helped me to get through it, it has been very very positive for me.”