"Attitudes and expectations of staff"

About: Royal Blackburn Hospital / Ear, Nose and Throat

(as the patient),

I had a scheduled appointment which I was aware of and had in my diary. I got a text message reminding me of the appointment. Then, I got 2 phone calls the next day - both of which emphasised the need to be on time. So, I was. I would have been anyway but the reminders didn't hurt.

What DID annoy me was that despite my being on time and using the self check in as instructed (and an ENT waiting area with a lot of reminders to the same effect) I had to wait an hour. This was 10:00am so I was probably the second / third appointment of the morning.

After 45 minutes I checked with the receptionist who broke off briefly from her account of the shopping for her upcoming holiday, looked at the PC and just said 'Yes' to the question of 'Do you have me on the system as being here for my appointment at 10:10? '. Not a word of explanation, not a word of apology. I was seen almost exactly an hour after the time scheduled. Not a word of explanation, not a word of apology and when I asked what the hold up had been I was told that 'it isn't easy to schedule appointments'.

So, the message I get is that hospital staff time is important, patient time is not. Patients MUST be punctual, staff can not bother.

The NHS must have potentially one of the biggest data sets for analysis with regard to average waiting times, appointment durations etc in the world. So, how bad do you have to be at scheduling to be running an hour late on the second / third appointment of the day? And, how little do you have to care about your service to not offer an explanation / apology when you do make people wait significant time?

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Response from East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust We are preparing to make a change

Dear Sir

As the Business Manager for the Head and Neck Directorate at East Lancashire Hospital NHS Trust, may I first of all express my regret that your recent experience within the ENT department has not been as positive as we would strive for it to be. This serves to be a disappointment to myself and the department and I wish to apologise for the issues that you have come up against within the department.

The Head and Neck Directorate are always keen to take feedback from our patients and visitors, both positive and negative, to enable us to learn important lessons around how our service users experience the services we deliver and to ensure we are able to deliver improvements where standards have not reached the level we would have expected.

Whilst I am unable to comment at this point around the specific details of the concerns you raise, I would be more than happy to do so should you be willing to contact the Trust, either in writing or by telephone via the PALS department, to provide specific details around your attendance to enable me to investigate this matter for you and provide you with an explanation for the issues that you have identified.

I would like to assure you that the comments you have made will be shared with the relevant departments with actions put in to place to address any shortfalls in service that we are able to identify.


Leigh Hudson

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