"Kept waiting for ultrasound scan at Leigh Infirmary"

About: Leigh Infirmary / General surgery

(as the patient),

I attended Leigh Infirmary in late March 2015 for a prebooked diagnostic ultrasound scan (suspected gallstones).

On arrival at the x-ray department there was a sign on the door asking weekend patients to ring the bell once and wait, which I did. Seconds later I was let in by a young man in a white uniform. he didn't ask my name just if I had an appointment. he then directed my Husband and I to the waiting area with the comment "wait in there one of the girls will come and see to you". This was 9. 50 for an appointment at 10. 10. There was another couple waiting. A short time later a lone man joined the waiting area also.

At about 10. 10 the man from the couple was taken through. Following there departure at around 10. 30 I was not happy that I was 20 mins late going in but at least thought it would be my turn next. No this was not the case the gentleman on his own was then taken in.

Not happy I went to find someone, the man who let us in sat in another waiting room with his feet up reading and drinking coffee! He was not interested in my complaint and told me to find someone else. Going back to my seat someone came out of the clinical room and I explained my missed appointment to her. She became very defensive claiming "it's not my fault" and "where were you sitting" but did not apologise for their error.

I was finally seen at 11:05! the sonographer was then very apologetic and admitted that the man shouldn't have let me in and that they should have looked for me. I was very happy with my treatment from then on, she was very caring and patient and explained her findings clearly.

Apart from the miscommunication I am concerned that the man who let us in was not working but being paid (weekend rate) to sit and drink coffee?

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Responses

Response from Susan Heighway, Patient Relations / PALS Manager , Patient Relations / PALS, Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust We have made a change

Thank you for your posting in respect of your attendance for an ultrasound at Leigh Infirmary. We were sorry to learn of your poor experience and we have identified 2 learning points from your comments which we hope will improve the service.

The Unit Manager has advised that she has asked that regular checks are made to ensure that patients are not kept waiting unnecessarily during the weekend when attending for their appointments, and that the Radiographers (the man who let you in) who are covering the Walk-in-Centre, which is based just outside the Leigh Infirmary main entrance, communicate with the Ultrasound staff if they admit a patient onto the unit. Your posting will also be shared with the staff for reflection on your experience.

I am pleased to note that the Sonographer who did attend to you provided you with a more positive experience.

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