"Kind and caring staff who are ..."

About: Cheltenham General Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

Kind and caring staff who are very friendly.

Doctors and nurses who explain things properly.

All staff that make you feel you can ask anything and they will explain and answer what they can or find someone who can.

What could be improved

I am currently undergoing my second round of Chemotherapy. I would like to say that the organisation of the Oncology/chemotherapy OPD has improved from last year to this unfortunatley I think it has got worse. I accept that some of the issues will be compounded by the new build but this does not explain the whole issue.

I also accept that the complex nature of the illnesses and treatments means that there is often a wait whilst the treatment is put together but do not accept that five, six seven hours is an acceptable time for this the whole process is exhausting for patients whose lives are already restricted by the tiredness that the the illness and treatment creates.

The Staff could not be friendlier or kinder but I challenge them or managers to sit and wait the length of time the patients do.

Some of the delay is not inevitable last week I waited 2 hours for some antibiotics that were in the department but no one had realised and called me to get them. This is bad organisation.

Those of us that live some distance from the hospital will not benefit from the new system where we are given two appt times as we will not be ble to go home and giving up a valuable parking space is not a decision taken lightly.

It would seem to me there are not enough chairs/ nurses/ pharmacy time. It is known how many patients are attending each clinic and a simple audit will advise on the number of those patients that generally convert to treatment so as the number of chairs and staff can be calculated. Radiotherapy get it right why can't chemo?

Anything else?

I was seeing the surgeon who carried out tests but from being told that the tests had come back positive showing a return of cancer to seeing the consultant again to decide what treatment I was to have took 7 weeks - far too long! Only marginally rectified by the treatment starting the following week.

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Response from Cheltenham General Hospital

Many thanks for your detailed comments. Your appreciation of the staff in the Oncology Centre has been passed on to them.

We accept that the experience of patients in our Chemotherapy Department needs to improve and recently held an special improvement event involving staff right across the team (including pharmacy, consultants, porters and nursing staff) and following that event specific changes have been agreed which will dramatically reduce the waiting time for patients receiving chemotherapy.

If you would like to discuss your comments further, please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 0800 0193282.

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