"The consultant gave me the impression ..."

About: Royal Preston Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

The consultant gave me the impression he knew what he was talking about and I felt comfortable being treated by him.

The speed from referral from GP to being seen by a consultant, probably 90mins elapsed.

What could be improved

The adminstration of my follow-on appointment.

The directions to the unit.

Some information to take away and think about.

Opening hours of the pharmacy.

The waiting room.

Answering the phone at the main switchboard or publish the direct number of the surgical investigations unit.

The waiting room felt dirty and grubby.

The hand cleaning point seemed to be in the wrong place, after the waiting area. As did the reception area.

Anything else?

I was referred to the Surgical Assessment Unit by my GP.

On arrival I asked for directions from the receptionist at the main entrance who had to ask a colleague where it was and promptly sent me to the wrong ward.

On arrival outside the right ward I was directed by a patient to the counter as there were no obvious signs. I waited at the counter while the staff concluded their non-work conversation. Whilst waiting I noticed an un-attended urine sample resting on a tissue on top of the counter - I know its a hospital but with the paranoia about hospital infection rates that really put me off. I can't believe that is good practise.

I was shown to the waiting room, with two other patients. One was obviously in pain and had been waiting hours, the other had a drip in one hand and a bucket in the other to be sick in as she'd been given morphine. Didn't make me feel comfortable getting treated there.

The consultant saw me quickly and was efficient. I could have done with some information to take away, and should have asked more about what to expect in the next 6 weeks. 10 minute consultation feels like a blur within 30 minutes of leaving the building!

I had to return the day after for my prescription as the pharmacy apparantly closes at 5pm - I find that strange.

I was told I'd get a discharge letter and a follow on appointment 6 weeks later. 3 weeks later having received neither I phoned the unit to chase the appointment. They directed me to the surgeons secretary, who made me feel like it was my fault and Initially accused me of missing an appointment, before it was worked out that was a different entry. Eventually explaining that the appointment was scheduled in a few weeks time. I should be getting a letter so what was i worried about? 10 days on it still hasn't arrived.

Seems a shame that the efficient and quick clinical care from the consultant is overshadowed by the adminstration, follow up and organisation

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Royal Preston Hospital

The Trust is pleased to note that you received quick and efficient care from our Consultant. However, we are concerned by your experience regarding the administration of the service and follow up communication.

We are working to improve our level of customer service. To this end we are looking at the way we have traditionally run services to make improvements. One such example is the new Assessment and Treatment Centre at Chorley and South Ribble Hospital. It features staff who act as dedicated meet and greeters and ensure that a patients’ visit runs as smoothly as possible.

Regarding infection prevention, the Trust has made huge strides in tackling infection rates and in August we reported zero MRSA cases.

If you would like to discuss anything further, we would be grateful if you could get in touch with either our Customer Care Department (01772 522521) or Patient Advice and Liaison Service (01257 247280 or 01772 523514) so that we could look into the matter in an effort to further improve our service.

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