"Poor Administrative Procedures"

About: Watford General Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as the patient),

I had a follow-up appointment at Watford General's Orthopaedic unit following some keyhole surgery on my knee. I took time out of my working day and paid the woeful and overpriced parking charge. I waited patiently for my turn as the clinic was running late (OK that's to be expected).

I finally got called by the Consultant's understudy (I've no problem with this as we all have to learn our trade) who was to see me. He welcomed me into the room and immediately informed me that he did not have my notes/surgery photos! There had been an Admin error

It's not rocket science and I was livid. I raised an official complaint the next day and in due course (weeks later) received a written apology from the Chief Exec citing a 'human error'. I have been promised reimbursement of my parking charges too but they still have not arrived - why weren't they enclosed in the same correspondence?

It's really very simple: every day the Consultant should have the notes for each patient in their possession for the FOLLOWING day. The medical secretary or Admin assistant should then check that each set of notes matches each patient's appointment. SIMPLE. If a set of notes is missing then they have 1 day to rectify things - SIMPLE. If things cannot be rectified in time then they can PHONE the patient and let them know the situation and whether or not for them to bother with the appointment. None of this was mentioned by the Chief Exec's letter as a way of improvement - just an apology and no lateral thinking to remedy the cause.

The hospital is a dump and depressing too. It is also appallingly signposted

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