Back to the golf course, thanks to self pay surgery

A keen golfer from Weston-Super-Mare is about to head back onto the course after taking an option to self-fund his hernia operation at Practice Plus Group Hospital, Emersons Green (formally Emersons Green Treatment Centre).

For almost 18 months, Peter Brewin, 73, had been suffering from pain caused by a hernia. The condition forced him to stop cycling and playing golf. On a shopping trip to Wells, the hernia became so pronounced and painful that he could no longer walk and he had to be helped back to his car.

His GP’s request for an NHS operation was rejected twice by his local NHS trust and it seemed as if he would face a future with limited activities and increasing pain. He said: “I faced an increasingly sedentary and isolated life away from my golfing companions. My wife and I love to travel, but that had become restricted as I had been warned that if the hernia became strangulated I would have to go to A&E for emergency surgery.

“My GP suggested having surgery at a private hospital. However, my wife had knee surgery as an NHS patient at Practice Plus Group Hospital, Emersons Green and we had been delighted with the treatment she received. When we found out that the centre was offering self-pay surgery it was the natural choice for me.”

Mr Brewin was pleased with the efficiency of the service: “I had an MRI and within five minutes my diagnosis and the option for surgery had been confirmed. The consultant, Paula Sabino dos Santos, explained what she would do during the operation. She was excellent and inspired real confidence, which is important when you are allowing someone to operate on you.”

Mr Brewin’s surgery was carried out under general anaesthetic and he was at home by 4.30pm the same day. He said: “It was perfect. I wanted to recover in the comfort of my own home, where I would be able to relax. All I needed to do was change my dressings every couple of days.”

Mr Brewin, who before his retirement, ran security for an international gambling and hotel chain, said: “The key to a good organisation, be that a hotel or a hospital, is its people. Managers need to train their people and then let them excel at what they do; you could see this at the treatment centre.

“At all levels, from reception, to the porters, administrators, nurses and consultants, people took pride in their work and clearly cared for their patients.

“I am now back to health and looking forward to joining my friends back on the golf course and I would recommend the centre to anyone.”

Rob Thomas, hospital director at Practice Plus Group Hospital, Emersons Green, said: “We are all delighted that Mr Brewin is able to return to the golf course as a result of his treatment. Sadly, NHS waiting lists are rising in Bristol and, whilst we retain a clear focus on and commitment to NHS patients, the self-pay route may be an option for some patients who need timely access to treatment.

“NHS patients already on waiting lists elsewhere also retain the option to switch to Practice Plus Group Hospital, Emersons Green as an NHS patient. Anyone concerned about waiting times can contact the hospital whose list they are on and request a transfer.”