"Appointment with the AMU"

About: East Surrey Hospital

Following an emergency referral for a TIA on Monday 20th July, my Mother was scheduled for an appointment at the AMU on 23rd July at 8:30am where we were warned a scan of her neck may be required. Having arrived early, Mum was seen on time by a Nurse for a variety of tests and then told the clinic was a morning clinic and she would likely be there for several hours. This was obviously news to us, having assumed we would be there a couple of hours. However, after an hour or so's wait for a Doctor to arrive, my Mum was seen again and a scan of her neck prescribed. We went up the corridor to the XRay Unit and were seen quite quickly, to then be referred back to the AMU. This, unfortunately, is where things went a bit downhill. We were told by the Doctor that we all had to wait for the Consultant to arrive, and that they were late and they had no idea where they were or when they would arrive. My Mum suffers from dementia and after the first hour and a half of waiting was starting to become agitated. The nursing staff were brilliant and provided the patients with tea or coffee and a sandwich. The consultant eventually arrived around 2.5 hours later. I appreciate consultants can be delayed for whatever reason, but it would be really helpful if when they have a clinic at a certain time and they are going to be late that they let the nursing staff know so the patients can be kept informed. If we knew the consultant was going to be two hours later, we would have at least gone to the café to have a drink and stretched our legs. As it was, we could not leave the waiting area in case they arrived at any minute. I think everyone understands and accepts delays occur, but you will find patients are happier accepting those delays if they are kept informed. Other than that I could not fault the service the nursing staff provided, nor the Doctor, and once they eventually arrived, the consultant was excellent.

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Response from Cathy White, Patient Experience Lead, Patient Experience Team, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear Stuart,

Thank you for your observations about the care your mother received whilst she was a patient of ours. I will ensure that your feedback relating to being kept informed of delays and estimated waiting times is passed on to the Lead Clinician of our Medical Division and your appreciation of the nurses is forwarded to the ward manager of the Acute Medical Unit.

Kind regards,

Cathy White

Patient Experience Team

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