"Collecting husband after endoscopy"

About: Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital

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The signage around the hospital is appalling. I was told to go to reception. The road signs lead the main reception but this was the "wrong" reception (how is one to know that there is more than one?). I was told I needed to drive around to the other entrance where I would find endoscopy and given a "map". This was a incomprehensible photocopy and the management team should be embarrassed and ashamed that they cannot produce a more helpful document. The whole I time I was at reception there appeared to be a member of security staff making himself a cup of tea on a filing cabinet – hardly professional behaviour. Regarding parking I was told there were some short stay spaces for picking up but this was not clearly signposted and I ended up paying for a very short stay. Having reached the other part of the hospital again there is very poor signage and in the end, wandering around with the useless map, I was eventually helped by a member of staff who directed to the correct department. I finally found my husband who had endured an excruciatingly painful endoscopy. If I were him I would be complaining about the woefully inadequate pain relief he received but I think he just wants to forget the whole experience. If I never need such a procedure I will ask for it to be performed elsewhere. Please for the sake of new visitors (and particularly those with any sort of visual impairment who would find it impossible to read the map) sort out some new signs. I was not in a hurry or worrying about a patient but it must be terrible trying to find anywhere if you are panicking or late for an appointment. You need to get a few "mystery shoppers" to try your facilities and I am sure they would highlight these visitor problems. What baffles me is why you keep telling patients to contact the Patient Experience Team. I emailed them regarding a completely different problem at another hospital and received and "out of office reply" on 18th April with no follow-up contact almost three months later. This problem has been escalated to the senior management but still no contact from the team.

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Response from Julie Pearce, Chief Nurse + Director of Quality + Operations, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for providing feedback and I am sorry about the distress we caused you with regards to the quality of the signage and also the response you had from staff. I will raise this with the hospital site manager - I do know that we have a programme in place to improve signage and so your feedback is very helpful.

Please do get in touch with me on Julie.pearce1@nhs.net should you want to talk through the other issues you have raised.

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