"A&E Administration"

About: Warrington Hospital

I attended A&E at Warrington recently. The clinical care was OK, but the management of the hospital need to urgently review the administration, which had some glaring inefficiencies. Firstly, the receptionists are blocked in by glass panels. There is no means of conducting a reasonable conversation without shouting and the musak being broadcast doesn’t help. So I could hear a gentleman giving his DOB and next-of-kin from four places back in the queue. When it was my turn, after two tries at giving my next-of-kin details, I subsequently found the receptionist had wrongly entered their surname, street and mobile number! No doubt the glass is to protect staff. But banks and building societies manage to balance security with a positive customer experience. Secondly, rather than collect patients, nurses shout their names from several yards away. In a busy area, and with the musak again, it’s impossible to hear properly. Aside from the obvious disrespect, this slows down the queue by a minute or two each time. Thirdly, why does the hospital need so much personal information? I don’t mind the stuff that’s relevant to clinical care, but I do mind about the rest. Again, it matters. It was obvious that the bottleneck in A&E is getting to see the nurse (that took well over 90 minutes, the other steps only took a few minutes each). Yet when I was with the nurse she asked for data about my drinking habits “as part of a Government survey”. That was completely irrelevant to my injury and merely slowed down the queue. Surely if this is really necessary (and it isn’t) a trainee could collect the data whilst patients are waiting in reception? Finally, please don’t respond by batting the matter back to me with a request to contact PALS. It’s a good thing that you collect customer feedback. Those of us who take the time and trouble to respond do so in the hope that our comments will be acted on and make things better for others. Cutting and pasting a standard email response merely demonstrates a lack of respect.

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Response from Warrington Hospital

Thanks for your feedback and the points you raise. Sadly the screens are in place to protect staff but you're right that they don't make communication as easy as it could be at times. It's a balance we have to try and meet. We don't collect information that we don't require as a standard. The alcohol survey you talk about is a national initiative across a&e departments and designed to give information and help us provide valuable support where it's needed to people. It has been very useful in doing that but you are right that it's not relevant to everyone sonsrry about that. All the comments left on these pages are shared with our teams and matrons so they can act on them and learn from any issues - and the privacy issues you raise have been forwarded on. We do use the standard PALS email response where we think an issue needs further exploration or we need more information to pin down the area it refers to. It's not disrespectful but unfortunately this system doesn't allow us to interact or contact you back directly so we find it's the best way we can continue the dialogue with users. Hopefully you can see from this response that there's a real person reading and responding to your comments. Thanks again for taking the time to do so - you're 100% right that they really help us to look at services from your perspective. Chris Horner - hospital communications team.

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