"a visit to the highfield centre, Cliftonville, Northampton."

About: Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust / Musculoskeletal physiotherapy

(as a relative),

I went with my brother to the Highfield centre who is suffering from back pain and leg pain, we think caused partly by a bunion on his left foot - which is affecting his gait. I had read on the website that you could self refer, so we visited to find out if it was an appropriate course of treatment for him, rather than a GP visit.

The place was empty of patients and staffed by a receptionist behind a glass partition, like a security pod. There was one lady in front of us who said she had visited a and e but had been sent to highfields by them, to see a GP. The receptionist was curt and dismissive. Said there was no doctors there and that she should return to a and e. There was no courtesy or concern shown and the receptionist then turned to us.

I explained that we wanted to self refer but wanted to know how the referral system worked. She was very aggressive and asked who had sent us there. I was taken a back and said that I had read about the service on the Internet. She very reluctantly gave us a self referral form and told us to fill it in. That it would be reviewed and we would be contacted in due course, depending upon the assessment of urgency. All in a tone of disinterested and as if she were doing us a favour.

I was very disappointed that this new facility was unwelcoming and poorly served by the receptionist, who showed no care or concern, much less politeness or customer care than an except able standard. The mission statement of this service centre includes 'approachable' I would it recommend it to an tone. I await to see the outcome of our enquiry.

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Responses

Response from James Allan, PALS Manager, Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Thank you for taking the time to contact Northamptonshire Healthcare Foundation Trust. I would like to apologise for the bad experience you have had at Highfields. This is not the level of customer service we would expect, action is being taken to ensure this does not happen again.

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Update posted by disappointed northampton (a relative)

Thank you for your positive response.