"Exceptional assistance from receptionist"

About: East Surrey Hospital / Ear, Nose and Throat Horsham Hospital / Ear, Nose and Throat

(as the patient),

I am a disabled lady and attended the hospital in error, my actual appointment was for the Horsham hospital under of the care of my ENT consultant. However, due to traffic and error on vehicle satellite navigation took me to the wrong hospital, also arriving 10 mins late.

I arrived in Surrey and Sussex outpatient department, where I was assisted by a young lady who's name is Shahina Zaman, a receptionist in the outpatient department. She tried so darn hard on my behalf in contacting Horsham Hospitals outpatient department in order for them to still see me in the ENT department of Horsham hospital under the care of my consultant. Unfortunately, the consultant refused to accommodate me in the morning's clinic or in the PM clinic, even though there were spaces. My appointment was then rescheduled for late June 2014.

I have been waiting for this appointment for a while, as it is queried that I may have carcinoma of the nasopharyngeal airways due to a history of three months of nosebleeds and blood clots, which to this day are happening on a daily basis. I have already had an X-ray to rule out lung lesions which thankfully was clear.

I find it hard that a consultant who is offering a clinical specialist service can dismiss a person with this familial oncology history and clinical symptoms. I worked for the NHS as a nurse for over 22 years and I'm disgusted with the lack of compassion from a medical consultant.

On the other hand, I would very much like to sing my praise and gratitude to Shahina Zaman who went above the call of her position to help me! A truly accommodating individual who took the time to understand and explored every avenue to try to still get me to be seen on that day. It's just a shame that her outstanding efforts were shadowed by a department who regardless of spaces on the clinic list refused to see me.

I commend Shahina Zaman and wish it to be noted at a higher level. How lucky you are to have a member of your staff with this calibre of assistance and compassion for a member of the public in need of a clinical service.

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Response from Ian Mackenzie, Director of Information and Facilities, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust We are preparing to make a change

picture of Ian Mackenzie

Dear Mutt1,

Many thanks for posting your comment about your recent experience in outpatients. I'm sorry that you felt dismissed by the consultant and I have forwarded your comments to our Chief of Surgery who I'm sure will want to look into this matter. In this regard if you could e-mail me your name that will help - my e-mail is ian.mackenzie@sash.nhs.uk

On a more positive note I was really pleased to read your comments about one of our receptionists. I have just myself been down to outpatients and had a chat with the colleague concerned and I wasn't the first to have passed on your kind words. So please be assured that your comments about how lucky we are to have such staff has been passed on directly by myself as well as others.

We have just started a new customer care programme for our reception staff and Shamina told me that she had been on the course a couple of days before the experience you describe, so hopefully that helped her to deliver the great experience you describe in the second part of your posting.

Kind regards


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Response from Barbara Bray, Chief of Surgery, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear Mutt1

I was sorry to hear your comments about one of our consultants. We would very much like to have more information so that we can look into it. Mr Sam Khemani the Clinical Lead for ENT suggests that you email his secretary Kay Regan on kay.regan@sash.nhs.uk and they will be able to investigate and feedback to you.

Best wishes

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