"I had previously been an outpatient ..."

About: St Helens Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

I had previously been an outpatient at Whiston without probs, firstly my appointment was messed up. It was brought forward, and just a message left on my phone very late two days before. I rang back and explained I was on holiday and was told another appointment would be sent in the post. This did not happen.When I rang to enquire I was told I had not attended my appointment, when I tried to explain I was told they had no record of me ever phoning up, and I had therefore missed my appointment. I was then offered a new appointment 2 months after my original, when I complained I was told to go through to consultants secretary, when I said I would, my original appointment was suddenly available again! On arrival at the hospital, I was told there may be a slight delay as my notes hadn't arrived. An hour and a half later myself and everybody else was still waiting. I was the last patient to be seen for my 3.20pm appointment at 4.50pm, by the time we had been seen the pharmacy was then closed. I wa told to come back tommorrow. I live 10miles away and had to go to work, I had already lost one afternoon. Surely the pharmacy should remain open after the clinics finish to ensure everybody can get the prescriptions that can only be dispensed at hospital pharmacy. It is ridiculous, as people may be travelling by public transport and St Helens hospital may be a journey for those who used to be seen at Whiston.

What could be improved

Better information, clinics where running much later than stated. No apologies where ever given. Pharmacies opening around clinic times not just 9 - 5pm. Better appointment process where calls are documented and actioned. A system could be introduced to record calls on line.

Anything else?

Staff where friendly and the hospital is obviously very clean as it is new. These could just be teething problems.

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