"Lack of flexibility regarding appointments"
About: Royal Lancaster Infirmary Royal Lancaster Infirmary Lancaster LA1 4RP
I remain a firm supporter of the NHS and know how lucky we are in the UK to have this service however my experience over the last few days has been dispiriting. My son broke his arm last Thursday. We arrived at the Westmorland General at about 6.30 and didn't get home until midnight. Staff there were friendly and helpful but thin on the ground. Several children like us had a long wait as well as elderly people. I did ask if we should go down to Lancaster but apparently there was as long a wait there. I do realise that sometimes waiting cannot be avoided if there is unexpected demand on the service. However we were then asked to go to Lancaster the next day to see an orthopaedic doctor in the afternoon at 3.40. We arrived on time and then waited for a considerable period before eventually my son's plaster was changed. We were then asked to return today for another xray to check progress. We arrived again on time for 11.15 and then sat for about 45 minutes before being sent to the xray area to sit for another 45 minutes. The doctor then asked for us to return the following Tuesday. I am of course pleased at the attention my son is receiving but as someone who works full time and cannot easily take time off and have noone else to take my son to hospital, the amount of time I am having to take off, much of which is spent waiting, is becoming impossible and stressful and in addition my son is missing significant chunks of school. The journey from home and back with the slow traffic flow in Lancaster means our round journey takes about an hour and a half so the whole day is taken over by an appointment. My frustration with this increased when.my son was asked to return next Tuesday. This particular date is very difficult to take off and is also the day my son is supposed to be at his new secondary school's induction day which he is desperate to attend. When I tried to ask if it was possible for my son's arm to be checked at another time or if necessary another hospital on another day, we were told that this was the clinic and we had no alternative. This all felt reminiscent of health provision in the 60s when the system was all that mattered. I recognise that the health service is under pressure and have no complaints about the health professionals who have dealt with my son and am pleased at the attention he is receiving but am disappointed at the amount of time wasted waiting and at the lack of flexibility of the system to help people access treatment with minimal stress. . Thank you for taking the time to read this.