When Lyta Humphris, a part-time hypnotherapist and stress management expert from Plymouth who started her practice after retiring from the BBC where she had worked for 20 years, was told she was not to have general anaesthetic for her hip replacement her professional knowledge and expertise deserted her and she, in her own words, “freaked out.
But luckily for Lyta caring members of staff at the Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre were able to allay her fears and turn what was a source of anxiety into “such a wonderful experience and as it turned out, I slept all through the operation.”
Lyta practises hypnotherapy and stress management in Plymouth, working with individuals to overcome their worries and anxieties. She had her right hip replaced 10 years ago at a private hospital, for which her family paid after waiting for two years for treatment. When her left hip began to cause her difficulty she visited her GP who was able to offer her an appointment to have her hip treated within weeks thanks to the reduction in waiting times the NHS is now offering – the maximum wait for patients is now just 18 weeks from referral to treatment. Lyta was also able to choose from a range of hospitals in which to have her operation and she opted for the Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre.
Said Lyta: “I had heard wonderful reports of the Peninsula, and in a matter of weeks I had had my initial consultation and was in for treatment. The staff were superb – they allayed my severe anxiety and very soon they had my total trust. From the moment I arrived at the hospital, throughout my treatment and even after discharging me, I was put at ease.”
She added: “The thing I liked best was the level of communication. Everything was explained to me and I was given time to ask questions. Before long I was reassuring other patients, telling them how wonderful it was. It was so good that, in my view, it was better than the private hospital I was in 10 years ago and I really wanted to stay another day!”
Lyta has now become one of a growing number of Patient Ambassadors for the Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre, patients who have experienced care at the hospital and who want to help other patients enjoy their own experiences.
Said Lyta: “Treatment at the Peninsula is an uplifting experience. Not only do you leave with whatever has been wrong with you treated, but you somehow feel better in yourself – at least, I did. Everyone was gentle, kind and courteous, the treatment is first class (I can hardly see my suture line) and the environment is extremely pleasant and keen – it is so clean and all the staff washed their hands continuously throughout my stay. In fact, it was such a great experience I can’t help keeping on about it.”
Since Lyta’s treatment, she is now no longer in pain and is regaining her mobility. She said: “It’s only a short time since I left the Peninsula, but my pain has gone and I am getting about better than I did before. The operation has been life changing, and I would strongly recommend to anyone who needs a new hip, knee or other orthopaedic treatment to see their GP and ask them to offer the Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre as part of their choice.”
Patricia Warwick, general manager at the Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre, commented: “We are delighted that Lyta had such a pleasant and successful stay with us. She is not alone in finding coming to hospital a frightening and bewildering experience, but all our staff are trained to put people at ease and communication is key to the way we work. We are also very pleased that Lyta has become one of our Patient Ambassadors, former patients who have agreed to speak to new patients about their experiences from the patient perspective.”