"I attended with my mother for an appointment for a..."
About: The Royal Victoria Infirmary The Royal Victoria Infirmary Newcastle Upon Tyne NE1 4LP
I attended with my mother for an appointment for a scan of her heart on Thursday 31st July at 4pm. We understand it is imperative to arrive on time for appointments and indeed we arrrived early at 3.40. On arrival we asked if the appointments were on time as we were 20 minutes early. We were told there were 2 people ahead of us and that they might catch up so to take a seat. (We did ask if we had time to get a coffee first). My mum is 70 and was nervous about the experience and what she might learn about any possibly abnormality or heart condition, hence the request re a coffee. Whilst I understand it is not always possible to be seen at the time of an appointment, I understand you do have procedures in place when appointments are running late, and perhaps out of respect the gesture of an apology would go a long way. On this occasion, despite arriving 20 minutes early, my mum was not seen until 16.35, and during the waiting period no attempt to apologise about the delay was made by the administrative staff. In fact, they did have time to give a colleague a present, but not to apologise to my mum. As my mum was getting more and more anxious about the delay, (I did give your staff the opportunity to apologise), I asked how much longer it might be around 16.30, when I then received an apology. I just feel as at the time the department was not particularly busy, (at the most there was only ever 3 people waiting, including my mum), it would have been a very easy thing to apologise for the delay, and this would have made all the difference to a very anxious lady. I work in customer service and am giving you this feedback, as I know your managers would be very disappointed to hear of such an experience that could have so easily been a good one, rather than a bad one. I know the NHS works very hard to give exceptional service and offers excellent care. In this instance all the receptionists had to do was to be a little more aware, perhaps check re the timescales, suggest we did get a coffee, or apologise for the delay. Overall we showed respect by arriving early, respect works both ways.