"Confusing checking in"

About: Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Birmingham)

(as a relative),

I must start by saying that the actual care and service from the doctors and nurses was lovely. However, the checking in system at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital was very confusing for me as a normal, healthy 42 year old, never mind someone with less than normal mental abilities.

Dad had an appointment in the geriatric clinic. We arrived at the front desk and was told to check in at the self checking screens by a lovely lady in a blue jumper. We did this with the help of another man, also wearing a blue jumper. He told us to wait in the purple chairs and look out for my Dad's name on the screen, we did this and was sent to waiting area 3. At waiting area 3 there is a sign on the right saying Reception 3 but also Sleep and lung clinic, we were not there for lungs or sleep, on the left is a sign saying Waiting area 3 so we sat on the left.

After half an hour of waiting and no call from any of the nurses I enquired at the desk in waiting area 3, (not Reception 3) to see if we were in the right place. "Have you checked in at the desk over there?" pointing to the desk named Reception 3, "No, we haven't been told to" I said, the nurse's reply was, "How do you expect them to know you are here?". Considering we had checked in at the self scan and were then told to go to waiting area 3, we assumed that we had already checked in. We were not the only ones to be confused by the signs, judging from what others were saying.

Also, it would be helpful if a beep or a sound announced that a name had popped up onto the computer screen on the wall. Lots of people missed their name on the screen, because it just popped up and then went and if you weren't paying attention to the screen you missed it.

We wasted half an hour of the staff's time, as well as our own, because we were not given clear instructions on where to go or what to do when we got there. What is the point of the self scan system, if you still have to report to reception? Why not put the self scan at the area you have to go to and check in there.

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Responses

Response from Patient Relations & Experience Manager, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust We have made a change

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback about the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. We welcome all feedback and would like to assure you that all comments are taken seriously and acted upon as part of our ongoing commitment to improving patient experience.

We are pleased that your experience of our medical and nursing care was so positive. We are disappointed however that the rest of your experience was so confusing for you, and we are sorry for the inconvenience this must have caused.

We believe that you may have contacted our Patient Experience team directly and have already received the following response via them from the Outpatient Management team:

In response to your concerns regarding signage; we can confirm that more signs have been ordered to help patients navigate around these areas. The additional signage will be introduced over the next couple of weeks.

The Self-Check in screen instructs patients to take a seat in the right sub wait area and advises that you will need to report to the next reception desk. We are very sorry on this occasion that the correct instructions have not been provided to you. New volunteers have been appointed and we will ensure that the correct process is reiterated to all volunteers supporting the Outpatients Service.

Prior to the introduction of the plasma screens we consulted with patients and it was determined that a sound on the calling system would make the waiting areas too noisy.

We hope the information provided is helpful. If you require any further support please make contact again via our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) team who will be pleased to assist.

PALS can be contacted by phone 0121 371 3280, by email PALS@uhb.nhs.uk, via the hospital website http://www.uhb.nhs.uk/pals-form.htm or in person by dropping in between 9am – 4.30pm (Mon-Fri) to the PALS office located to the left of the Information Desk in the main entrance of the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.

Update posted by lemonpopsical (a relative)

Thank you, as I said the overall experience was fine but a few clearer signs will definitely make a difference. I am happy to know that my comments were taken on board and responded to. Thanks again.

Response from Queen Elizabeth Hospital

This feedback was originally posted and responded to via the Patient Opinion website. Please see response below: Response from Patient Relations & Experience Manager, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust on 23/10/2014 at 15:28 Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback about the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. We welcome all feedback and would like to assure you that all comments are taken seriously and acted upon as part of our ongoing commitment to improving patient experience. We are pleased that your experience of our medical and nursing care was so positive. We are disappointed however that the rest of your experience was so confusing for you, and we are sorry for the inconvenience this must have caused. We believe that you may have contacted our Patient Experience team directly and have already received the following response via them from the Outpatient Management team: In response to your concerns regarding signage; we can confirm that more signs have been ordered to help patients navigate around these areas. The additional signage will be introduced over the next couple of weeks. The Self-Check in screen instructs patients to take a seat in the right sub wait area and advises that you will need to report to the next reception desk. We are very sorry on this occasion that the correct instructions have not been provided to you. New volunteers have been appointed and we will ensure that the correct process is reiterated to all volunteers supporting the Outpatients Service. Prior to the introduction of the plasma screens we consulted with patients and it was determined that a sound on the calling system would make the waiting areas too noisy. We hope the information provided is helpful. If you require any further support please make contact again via our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) team who will be pleased to assist. PALS can be contacted by phone 0121 371 3280, by email PALS@uhb.nhs.uk, via the hospital website http://www.uhb.nhs.uk/pals-form.htm or in person by dropping in between 9am – 4.30pm (Mon-Fri) to the PALS office located to the left of the Information Desk in the main entrance of the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. Update posted by lemonpopsical (a relative) on 24/10/2014 at 13:01 Thank you, as I said the overall experience was fine but a few clearer signs will definitely make a difference. I am happy to know that my comments were taken on board and responded to. Thanks again.

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