"Hospital Review"

About: Southmead Hospital

My husband has been a urology patient at this hospital for the last couple of months. Until the most recent appointment his care was exceptional. However, the last appointment was highly unsatisfactory. We arrived early enough to ensure we got a car parking space in the multi story, from what we heard in the clinic, others were not so fortunate and were late for appointments. We arrived 15 minutes ahead of our appointment and were kept in the Gate area for 50 minutes. We then waited in the waiting area for over an hour and a half. We asked twice when my husband would see the doctor and were told "you are next". Next after what or who? It turned out to be next after ward rounds which must have gone on and on. We were waiting to hear whether my husband had cancer, it was a stressful time without the additional stress of sitting there with no communication as to what was happening or when he was likely to be seen. Other patients were waiting up to an hour and when called forward were then directed to X-Ray - why were they not directed to X-Ray first. When we left the Clinic it was standing room only! There are lessons to be learnt and a review of processes and procedures required. Communicating with your patients is key. The public want to be supportive but unfortunately when the public arrive at your door they are at a low point and often good humour is not necessarily in abundance. Inevitably when one sits for nearly 3 hours in a waiting room, one hears many examples of procedural incompetence - I suggest that hospital management do exactly that, sit in a busy clinic for an hour or so and see what goes on. You never know, you could learn something that would be advantageous to the hospital and your patients. Communicate, communicate, communicate.

Story from NHS Choices

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