"Kept appointment, but key staff not available."

About: Bedford Hospital South Wing

Self and sister, with some difficulty, took very elderly and fragile patient to hospital for a pre-booked appointment. When we got there we borrowed a "public" wheelchair (£1 in slot, returnable, like supermarket trolleys). Required leg elevation not available due to wheelchair design shortcoming. Design of wheelchair extremely poor - very narrow front end gives rise to great problems in getting into the chair and in getting out of it. Only 1/10 to whoever purchased these ridiculous things without consulting medical staff (as we were told by medical staff). Signage/directions OK. Found reception. Were directed to proper place for appointment. Arrived at place for appointment. Three staff at least there - however, we were told that "The doctor was not available. No-one else on that team was available. We'd have to re-book and then go home". Went to place for re-booking. Staff could not tell us when a new booking could be made. Staff could not say whether re-booking could be done on same day of another upcoming appointment for the same patient. The one dealing with us was of the "Nothing can be done" sort. Went home. So. Two people's hard-earned half-days leave from work were wasted. The fragile patient had a wasted trip after being "got ready" for it. Several staff at the hospital were idle because key staff were not present. A telephone call to the patient would have saved a good deal of trouble, expense and wasted holiday. No telephone call was made. This is not acceptable. Nowhere near good enough. I wonder whether the "Communications Officer , Bedford Hospital NHS Trust" will issue the normal placatory useless verbiage. That's not good enough, either.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Bedford Hospital South Wing

Hello, Thank you for getting in touch. I am sorry to hear that you did not have a positive experience at Bedford Hospital. We do feel it is important to acknowledge each message that is left on NHS Choices about Bedford Hospital in a timely manner, whether that experience is positive or negative. When a patient has not had a positive experience we ask them to contact us directly so that the matter can be discussed in more detail than we can do on a public website and tn ensure that the issue can be dealt with appropriately. In the first instance I would direct you to our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS). This can be done electronically by emailing PALS@bedfordhospital.nhs.uk, by calling the team on 01234 795814, or by writing a letter to: PALS Bedford Hospital NHS Trust Bedford MK42 9DJ You can also find out more about the PALS service on our website at http://www.bedfordhospital.nhs.uk/patients/pals-and-complaints

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