About: Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre Plymouth PL6 5XP
Posted by James Willoughby
On Tuesday 10th December I had an appointment at 11.20 am to see a consultant. I was advised beforehand, in a written notice, not to come early, as all the appointments were tailored. At the appointed time I drove into the car park to find there wasn't a parking space and as most of the roads had double yellow lines I had to park in another companies car park a short distance away. Not all the cars parked belonged to patients and I suspect that many of them belonged to staff, although a staff car park was situated further along the road. On entering the waiting area I was told that there would be a delay and I could go and have a coffee and would be called. Two coffees and half an hour later, not having been called I returned to the waiting area where I was handed a questionnaire to fill in. Before I could do this I was called to see the consultant who quickly diagnosed my condition and efficiently explained the details to me. I was then asked to wait outside until I could be assess for treatment. I filled in the questionnaire and then waited a considerable length of time to be weighed and have my height, BP and blood taken. I again waited an even longer period of time to have an ECG test. Before this happened I made a complaint to the manager who apologized for the length of time I had to wait, citing two staff had gone home due to sickness, as the cause. I pointed out that it was well documented that staff sickness was almost double that of the private sector. She said that one nurse had a sick child and that as a mother she sympathized with her. She also informed me that she had been brought into the unit on a temporary basis until February 2014 to find ways to reduce the waiting times of patients in the unit. My impression was that the culture in the unit was staff not patient orientated. It would not surprise me if inducements to staff in the form of bonuses would be used to improve the four hour wait that I and other patients endured that day. One nurse confided to me that new staff were not fitting in to the way the unit had been run previously and this was the cause of unnecessary delays. Whatever the reason clearly a lack of administrative efficiency prevails in the unit. My only concern is that it will result in greater cost to the NHS, instead of the obvious culture change that is required, without further cost to the tax payer.