"Good cliinical care; shambolic organisation, no..."

About: St George's Hospital (Tooting) (London)

The clinical advice and interaction once the consultant arrived was extremely good and I was surprised to see a consultant for a relatively minor injury. However, the organisation of the clinic and the levels of respect for patients were absolutely zero. The reception staff were almost without exception chewing gum, I was told I was a "walk in" and didn't have an appointment. I had followed instructions, called the number and was given an appointment at 1.30pm in a clinic. I was told I wouldn't be seen before a file was made up for me - that file containing the paperwork I handed to reception. In the 21st Century can the paperwork not be scanned from hospital to hospital in advance? I had already corrected the nurse practitioner's paperwork to note my title, Mrs. This was not transferred to the file, neither was it used by any member of staff at the clinic. I was called by my first name and nobody asked if they may do so. When I asked the nurse who called me who I would see I was told Mr xxx or Mr xxx. Perhaps someone can explain why doctors are afforded the courtesy of a title by their staff but patients are not please. This is an equality issue and I think it interesting when the NHS spends so much money on equality and diversity that it allows such inequalities to exist. Notably I heard three men called by title in the clinic but not one woman. I spent 80 minutes in a clinic where the lack of respect for the time of patients and people as human beings was palpable. The only available parking space was 15 minutes on crutches from the fracture clinic and upon reaching the St James's Wing, the signage was almost non existent. This is totally unacceptable when people are struggling to walk due to the very nature of the clinic and need reassurance they are heading in the right direction. In summary, the medical advice was exemplary and appeared holistic. The organisation of the clinic, communication and the cavalier disregard for patients' time and dignity were shocking. Please don't provide an NHS speak apology and refer me to PALS. Read what I have written, go down to the clinic, observe and deal with the issues. I shouldn't have to contact PALS for hospital managers to sort out issues of signage, respect and ensure support staff have a clear enough understanding of basic professional boundaries not to chew gum as they speak to patients - it does nothing to inspire confidence and everything to underline the existence of the NHS in Little Britain? It would be very welcome if perhaps the people responsible In short I saw little respect for people or their time at the clinc

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Response from St George's Hospital (Tooting)

We are very disappointed to read your description of your visit to the clinic. Your comments will be sent to the management of the Orthopaedic Service and the management of the Corporate Outpatient Service regarding the communication you received and observed when visiting the clinic. You may choose not to contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service but if you do they can put you in touch with the managers and you would be able to discuss your concerns directly with them. PALS can be contacted by email at pals@stgeorges.nhs.uk or by telephone on 020 8725 2453.

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