"Reception staff are helpful and ..."

About: St George's Hospital (Tooting) (London)

(as the patient),

What I liked

Reception staff are helpful and polite, unfortunately that's as far as it goes. The consultants secretary was very polite and helped as much as she could in the circumstances, it's a shame it took me nearly one week to track her down.

My previous experience with Gynaecology was excellent but not my most recent experience with another clinic in this hospital.

What could be improved

I received an appointment for my return consultation followed by a further letter saying my appointment for the same date was changed to 15 mins later. When I arrived I was advised I still had two appointments which one was I attending for?? I was handed a chart/health questionairre to complete 2 hours later. The co-ordinator came to collect if from me 10 mins later so I had to do complete the rest in rather a hurry. I was advised to go into a small room/cubicle about 10mins after this where I was left waiting for a further 25 minutes. I was not seen by the consultant, but by one of his registrars/doctors? who left me even more bafffled than I was before I went there and did or should I say would not give me any direct answers to my questions. (I discharged myself from my previous hospital due to the promise of better care at St. Georges and because I did not want to waste NHS valuable time and money). The registrar/doctor told me I was being referred to a pain management clinic. My protestations about having been through this before went unheard and when I asked him about why I had such severe pain especially in one part of my body, he made a gesture by opening both of his hands and and saying we don't know. I advised him that the previous consultant had confirmed a named condition following MRI Scanning that I had most likely been born with and what had happended to that and he again made the same gesture and reply. What he also failed to tell me was that I was being discharged from the hospital as well. I had to find this out for myself following two conversations with the consultants co-ordinator after leaving the cubicle. This lady gave me telephone nos for the pain management clinic and the consultants secretary. After trying to get through on both these engaged numbers for several days to chase information I discovered from the hospital switchboard that they were both incorrect. I telephoned the clinic concerned and left a message to which I received no reply. Two days later I telephoned again and left a further message advising that I was going to complain to the hospital administrator. I received a call back within 30 minutes giving me yet another telphone no for the consutlants secretary. This turned out to be Gynaecology. I dont know what else to say other than

drastic improvements to staff training and communication are required to take this hospital back to the star rating it so craves.

My previous experience at Gynaecology was absoutely fabulous and I could not fault any one there, their care and communication with me wbout what they could and could not do for me. They were very open and honest and did not make promises that they could not keep. As for the consultant and his secretary they are both credit and proof to how this hospital can get things right if it communicates effectively and honestly.

Such a shame about the rest.

Story from NHS Choices

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