"Many staff lacking 'customer service' and people..."

About: Eastbourne District General Hospital

I have dealt myself with blood lab and anti natal care and supported my mum in a number of out patient appointments. Firstly, good luck if you are trying to ring the hospital. I usually get through only on the 5th attempt. Regularly unhelpful, not knowledgeable and just quite rude and abrupt staff on the phone. Takes several calls to be put through to the rig part of the hospital!!!! It's hard to get through to the appointments team or the secretariat for your consultant, again i usually need to ring several times. When I visited for out patient at blood lad, baby scan, orthopaedics, firle ward etc the customer service wasn't great. Staff at the registration desk not very friendly or supportive. Consultant at Orthopaedics and all the nurses are great. But nurse at Firle we saw as part of the pre surgery assessment was in a massive hurry, hardly happy to answer our questions. My mum needed to discuss her recent deterioration in healthy and blood result (as advised by a GP) to see whether this would have any impact on the surgery. Nurse unwilling to discuss this and had to be really pressed by me to check this with her colleague. Glad i did pursue as when it went to the specialist they put my mum's surgery on hold due to concerns!!! OCT and physio much nicer, a lot of support and time to answer questions. The baby scan was a mixed experience also. We had 3 in total and one staff member was fanatics but the other two really below average. At our first scan the staff didn't explain much at all, we had to push with questions. In the end we learned that we were booked a few days to early , but all we were told during the scan was 'Oh the baby is too small"...pretty frightening for your fist scan!!! Quite disorganised waiting and registration area and we were literally accused of being late for an appointment while it was the mess with the registration not us. I know NHS has got a lot of pressures on and I am very understanding. But all I am asking for is just a bit more people skills and supportive behaviour. Wouldn't take more then a couple of minutes extra if so.

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Response from Eastbourne District General Hospital

We're deeply disturbed to read your posting about your experiences associated with some staff's lack of 'people skills' at Eastbourne DGH and the poor attempts you've described at making contact by telephone. What you highlight is clearly not the high quality care and service we expect our patients to receive. Please be assured we take your comments very seriously and will be sharing your posting with key managers to act upon and discuss with their individual teams. We also have a Patient Experience Champion programme where we discuss patients and families experiences in greater detail in order to share information and make improvements. We would like the opportunity to discuss your concerns in more detail and would welcome the chance to apologise to you in person. If you are willing to do this please contact our Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS) on 01323 438556 or by email at: esh-tr.PALSE@nhs.net.