"Lack of communication"

About: South Tyneside District Hospital

(as a carer),

Arrived for an outpatient appointment approximately 15 minutes ahead of time. Reception 1 of the out patients department was already full. Waited for over 90 minutes to be seen to. During which time the crowded reception area ran out of seats and people were becoming very agitated. I realised that the consultant had been called away - which is perfectly understandable.

What I find totally unacceptable is the lack of communication between the reception, nursing staff and the waiting public. There were no announcements made and the electronic notice board was disconnected. The only information was via a TV to inform the public to use sun screening - somewhat old information given it was early Feb 2014!

Please start treating patients as customers and update them with delays as the majority of people will understand and have an even better experience. Incidentally the clinician care was exceptional!

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Response from South Tyneside District Hospital

Dear Paupm5 Thank you for taking the time to post on the NHS Choices website your recent experience of our Out Patient Department (OPD). Our communication systems in OPD are usually very efficient in notifying patients when there are delays and the reasons for the delays.

There was obviously a breakdown in these systems on the day of your visit and I fully apologise for this. I will forward your comments on to the relevant staff in order that they can learn from your experience.

I apologise once again and wish you well for the future.

Kind regards

Lorraine B Lambert

Chief Executive

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