"Ridiculous! 15 Minute procedure, appt time 4-5..."

About: Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Greater London)

Gastroscopy - no medication, food or drink overnight before going for a procedure that takes 15 minutes - after being booked in I was left waiting in a corridor by the men's changing room without anything (bag, phone etc) for almost 3 hours with no indication of when the procedure was going to take place. Other patients were coming in after me and having their procedure done and I was still waiting. When I asked why it takes 3-4hrs (what it said on my paperwork), I ws then told it could be 4 to 5 hours, thoroughly disgusted that a 15 minute procedure could take 4-5 hours and in great discomfort from the lack of medication I eventually left untreated and thoroughly angry ..... Do they think I have nothing else to do and don't mind losing pay to sit around because they cannot get their act together. I am now having the procedure done at Lewisham Hospital and from the first consultation they seem to know what they are doing.

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Response from Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Thank you for your comments and would like to respond. The staff work hard to care for all the patients in the endoscopy unit, the unit is busy and has multiple referrals to treat. There are plans afoot to modernise and re-design the service and endoscopy accommodation, as it is recognised that the unit has some constraints. As for the patient not being able to eat or drink, the information leaflet does outline that in order to facilitate a gastroscopy, the patient is required not to eat or drink for 6 hours prior to the appointment time given, however, clear fluids can be drank up to 2 hours prior to the appointment time. A notice in the changing areas displays information relating to the area, in that there is more than one treatment area, no-one is jumping the queue, they may be on another list with a faster turnover. As guidelines dictate, we are unable to mix male and female patients, we operate a same sex day for each of the lists. There is no reason that the patient would not have been permitted access to their belongings as they usually are given a key to their locker. We have, however, taken all this on board and reiterated to all staff that they must ensure that patients are kept up to date with any delays and waiting times, as we do appreciate that this can be a stressful time. I am very sorry to hear about your experience and thank you for bringing this to our attention. It is very helpful to have feedback from our patients to help us review our services and make any necessary improvements. Cathy Farrall, Matron Theatres, Endoscopy, Day Care Unit & POAC,

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