"Very impressed by matrons, but very disorganised..."

About: Guy's Hospital

I've been treated here for several months and have been really impressed by the matrons I've dealt with. At my last appointment, though, my experience was almost farcical. I was there for two hours! In order to get my prescription, I need to provide evidence to the pharmacy of a negative pregnancy test ( a form completed by a nurse). This is normally done very efficiently. Today, however, I was left sitting around for about an hour in total as no one seemed to be aware of procedure. After a very bizarre chain of events, I was handed the stick used to test my urine (into my bare hand!) in a corridor instead of being given the form that I am usually given. When I said that I was more than aware that I was not pregnant and just needed the form to provide with my prescription, I was told "Oh, I'll try and find them. What do they look like?". After being told to go and sit down (again!), I took it upon myself after another 20 minutes to go back and ask if the form was ready and was told "Oh, no. I couldn't find them". In the end, I finally managed to track down the form I needed on my own initiative (not before they tried to give me someone else's!). I was not the only one in this position and other women were also being handed these 'dipsticks' in a corridor instead of being given the requisite forms. Very bizarre! It was quite chaotic, with patients getting sick of waiting and waIking around the department to try and get what they needed. I must say that I also concur with other posters about the lack of manners of some staff. I've been spoken to in quite a patronising way on occasion and I also do not appreciate one of the nurses taking blood listening to Capital FM at full blast! Today, a number of staff members were standing around in corridors looking at each other's smart phones and giggling. No announcement was made about the clinic running late either. When a fellow patient said that her appointment was due to begin half and hour before, she was told "Oh yeah, they're probably running late'. She was still there when I left 30 minutes later! More professionalism is required in an environment where patients are often likely to be feeling apprehensive. With the exception of some of the dermatologists and matrons, and a very nice receptionist, I do not feel confident or at ease when I visit this department.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Rachael Twomey, Patient Information Lead, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust

I was very disappointed to learn of your recent experience at Guy's Dermatology Service. Your feedback has been shared with the Matron responsible for the department, who has looked into the concerns you have raised. The Matron has found that, in relation to the pregnancy test, the member of staff in question was a bank nurse who will not be returning to the department.

Regarding the delays in the clinic, that lack of information you received was not acceptable and clinic staff are being reminded of the importance of keeping patients informed - both through the notice boards and by answering questions in a professional manner. The radio you mention is being removed from the phlebotomy area. The Matron will ensure that standards across all of these areas are monitored and we hope you will have a positive experience at your next visit. Please accept our apologies that we did not meet the high standards we strive for on this occasion.

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