"Appointment delays, Neuro Vascular Clinic, University Hospital Lewisham"

About: University Hospital Lewisham / Neurology

(as a relative),

I took my father for a 10: 00 follow up appointment at the Neuro Vascular Clinic at University Hospital Lewisham. We arrived a few minutes after 10: 00. I thought things were going well when soon after our arrival he was called in to be weighed. Around 11: 00 an announcement was made that a particular clinic was running late (the reception area was for several clinics). I did not catch which clinic was running late. We continued to wait and at 11: 20 we asked how much longer the wait would be. You get accustomed to waiting in the NHS, but what is good is to have an idea of how long you might have to wait. We were told that there was another patient in front of my father. I asked if that meant that there was a patient with the consultant and another waiting and was told yes. So I estimated we'd be waiting another half hour. But suddenly we were being whisked into the consultation room.

It is hard to understand just how a delay on a 10: 00 appointment can be as long as an hour and a half, especially as the Clinic started at 9: 00.

On previous visits my father has had to wait quite a while for his appointments at this Clinic.

The clinic staff (medical and administrative) are all friendly and helpful.

I think if they were able to keep people informed of delays the service would be as good as can be expected in these days of austerity.

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Response from University Hospital Lewisham

All University Hospital Lewsiham staff are aware of their responsibilities associated with keeping patients updated re waiting times and are committed to working to continue to improve this. This includes informing patients of the number of patients who are due to be seen prior to them. Whilst this does not provide details of the expected waiting time,most patients feel this information to be useful.The associated issues with waiting times and the difficulty in keeping patients and relatives informed of specific waiting times are due to the variation in times of consultations;these cannot always be accurately predetermined and can vary hughly dependant on a number of factors according to individual patient need. I very much regret that the patient visit to the Neuro Vascular Clinic did not meet the expectations re explanation of waiting times and I offer my apologies regarding this. I will raise this matter with all staff working in Clinic and discuss this at the next staff meeting. Thank you. Geraldine McNamara Nurse Manager - Outpatients University Hospital Lewisham Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust

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