"Poor Communications and Bed Supply"

About: Freeman Hospital

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.

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Response from Freeman Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to post your comments on NHS Choices. We are very disappointed to hear that your experience did not meet with the standard of care expected and that you experienced a problem with the administration of your appointment. As your posting is anonymous, we are unable to look into the issues you have raised in more detail. We would be keen to do this and would therefore appreciate it if you would contact the Surgical Matron on 0191 233 6161. Alternatively, please feel free to contact Mr Paul Anderson, Patient Relations Manager or a member of his team on 0191 223 1382.

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