"Poor Communications and Bed Supply"
About: Freeman Hospital Freeman Hospital Newcastle Upon Tyne NE7 7DN
The medical treatment itself was excellent, but other matters left a lot to be desired. First, I received notification that I should appear at Ward 22, the Gastroenterology Dept., at 8.30 am on 1 April, Since I live in another city, I got up very early (having fasted from the night before), took the train, then an expensive taxi to the hospital for the appointment. When I tried to check in, I was told, however, that my appointment had been changed and I should return the next day. I have never received the letter, supposedly sent to me, informing me of my new appointment date. Second, after the rescheduled appointment, I was due to spend the night in hospital. I was put into the general waiting room (after the recovery room), whereupon I was duly forgotten. I sat there from 12.30 to 5.30 pm when I was fed up and left the hospital for home. I am disappointed and cannot understand how the hospital, which knew in advance of my need to stay overnight, was so unresponsive, If there was a problem, I feel I should have been told. When I complained, having sat there quietly until 5.30 pm, I heard from a nurse that she had rung for a bed but the 'line keeps ringing and ringing'. Apparently, the bed manager, or whatever the correct title is, was not answering. I reiterate that the doctor was excellent and helpful, but there appears to be significant administrative problems -- poor communications over appointments and inadequate bed supply. At the very least, patients should be better informed about the latter.