""Transformation Policy" in Endoscopy Department"

About: Addenbrooke's Hospital

I attended the clinic yesterday with my sister and was concerned that the literature about the Endoscopy she was having said to allow 4 hours. If a patient is having sedation for this procedure they need to be accompanied by a responsible adult. The literature states that if a responsible person is not present , the hospital will not carry out the procedure. Hence the patient and their responsible adult both have to take 4 hours out of their day plus travel , often involving financial loss. My partner had an Endoscopy at Hinchingbroke Hospital and was out within an hour of arriving for his appointment. Upon research and personal observation the procedure at Addenbrookes only takes about 15 minutes for the pre procedure tests and questions and the actual procedure takes about 15 minutes - a little longer if the patient is sedated. Allowing some extra time for updating notes and other blips there is no way a patient should have to allow 4 hours for this procedure. It appears that the reason some people will have to wait four hours and some will be seen much faster, is because there is a (new?) policy that patients are given appointments at the same time. When we arrived the waiting room was absolutely packed and then slowly throughout the morning the crowds disappeared. My sister's appointment was at 09:30 and she was seen at 11:55. Remember that she had had nothing to eat or drink since 19:00 the previous evening. She could have had a drink at bedtime but didn't want to alter her normal routine. By 11:55am she was very thirsty. The hospital will no doubt say that it improves the speed with which the department can operate becuase if someone doesn't show up they can move onto the next patient. The department have historical statistics so it would not be rocket science to be able to stagger appointments to allow the hospital to work effectively but still treat patients with respect. My sister's appointment could have been made for 10:30 or 11:30 and I am sure the department would have worked just as effectively. After all, the department is doing exactly the same number of procedures whether they stagger the appointments or herd everyone in like cattle and slowly pick them out for treatment. The hospital should treat patients with respect - this process does not, and it is not kind or excellent - two of the hospital's key words. When my sister was finally seen, the department didn't have a mouthguard the correct size and the rather pompous doctor apologised and said they would order some and she would have to make another appointment! A very negative meeting for my sister but she fought back. See below. It beggars belief that a department that does Endoscopies and needs a mouth guard for each procedure does not keep a stock of all sizes! See next complaint re trying to change appointments, patient privacy, and staff blaming everything unfairly on the EPIC system

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Response from Addenbrooke's Hospital

Thank you for providing detailed feedback regarding your sister's experience at the Endoscopy clinic recently. I am sorry to learn that you and your sister were not satisfied with the service provided. For the safe preparation of our patients we do require them to come into the department with plenty of time to go through checks. The department has recently reviewed and changed some processes and has allocated staff to check patients in when they arrive to the department, and depending on what procedure the patient is having they may need to change into a gown, be cannulated, pre-assessment checks, sign consent form etc. We inform all our patients that they will be in the department for approximately four hours, during which time all their pre-checks, procedure and recovery will take place. Your sister should not have been told an appointment time, but instead a time that she was required to attend the department. I apologise if this information was given out incorrectly. If the patient is going to be sedated they do require a responsible adult to take them home, however the responsible adult is not required to stay in the department for those four hours. The patient does, however need to be escorted home and there is a period of time where the patient is required to be accompanied at their home. Patient safety is our priority. Once again, I am sorry that your sister's experience was disappointing. If your sister would like a personal response to her concerns (and you have indicated that there are other matters of concern), please do not hesitate to contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 01223 216756 or email pals@addenbrookes.nhs.uk and we will look into the issues and respond in detail. Complaints and PALS Manager

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