I have just come out of Leicester General after treatment for a bladder tumour and was very impressed by my treatment, both surgery and nursing. However when it came to leaving it would probably have been... more easier to escape from Colditz. Why when the nursing is so good and the attention from consultants is brilliant can the discharge procedure be so chaotic? I was told I could leave at 12.45 on Monday and that it would take a few hours to get the procedure in place .I asked for an estimate of time and was told by a ward sister that the discharge letter would be with me by 4.00pm.Why 31/4 hours? I was asked by the sister if I needed medication to take home and by another nurse on a separate occassion. My problem was that I live in North Linolnshire and I had arranged for a friend to fetch me and I needed a rough time to save me having to wait about 7 hours as the trip for him takes about 3 hours so I could ring him in the hope my discharge would coincide with his arrival. I asked every now and then how things were going and was told that a nurse was keeping her eye on it as the original sister had left . At 4pm still no sign of the letter and my friend had arrived in the car park so I asked again and was told that the letter was being dealt with in a way that suggested not to keep bothering staff. At 4.20pm I went back to the ward desk and spoke to a different sister/charge nurse and asked what I had to do to get out. She asked me if I needed medication to take home and I said no I didn't to which she replied that in that case I could leave and that they would send the letter by post and said that this was the normal case. I have to say that she was very apologetic ,particularly when I said that I had been asked at least twice before about medication. Why can't this procedure be put into ward training and standardised or some system be in place to speed things up as it rather spoils what had been a very good experience up until then?