"I was seen eventually by somebody ..."

About: Stepping Hill Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

I was seen eventually by somebody who put herself to do so - it was not her responsibility. To her, I would like to express my gratitude.

What could be improved

1. Communication between Consultant and Administration.

2. Ability to put a Consultant's annual leave into the appointment system, so that either the Consultant had a replacement (and patients informed of this) or the period in question be withdrawn from the system altogether.

3. Patients to be informed well in advance.

4. In the light of none of the above being done, the managers should have been courteous enough to have given an explanation to me and the other patients, many of whom were elderly and were just sent away with "the clinic has been cancelled, we'll send you another appointment through the post". Being told "they will see you, but they don't know when", is extremely discourteous and very bad for public relations.

5. Whoever made the mistake in the first place, it was very unfair for the nurses on duty to be left to inform the patients attending the clinic, as it certainly wasn't theirs.

Anything else?

On 9th March, I had an appointment for a clinic in Orthopaedics. I had been staying in Crawley, Sussex, helping my daughter who broke her leg very badly in mid-December and is still on two crutches (and will continue to be so for another month at least) and drove back home the night before for the sole purpose of attending the clinic. (Consequently, I also have to return to Crawley once again as well.) I had also received a telephone reminder a couple of days before and had been required to confirm that I was going to attend, which I did. When I arrived at the clinic, on time, I was told that it had been cancelled as the Consultant was on annual leave. The nurses said that the managers were trying to find somebody else to take the clinic, but nothing could be guaranteed. I said I would wait. Five minutes' later, it was announced that nobody could be found. I said I would like to see the managers, but was told that they were elsewhere in the building. I asked where, but was told that this information could not be divulged. However, it was mentioned that the managers would be coming down at some stage, but it wasn't known when. I said I would wait. I was then told that a manager would see me when they came over, but again, they couldn't say when that would be. I said I would wait. After waiting a further five minutes or so, I was suddenly told that I was being sent for X-ray as I was going to be seen by somebody else.

Story from NHS Choices

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