"The treatment centre was clean. ..."

About: Kettering General Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

The treatment centre was clean. Individual rooms of a very good standard. Some of the staff at the treament centre are excellent and committed to patient care.

What could be improved

Communication between medical and administrative staff needs drastic improvement. Administrative and appointments staff appear to ignore medical staff notes re urgency of appointments etc. and are not helpful in trying to resolve problems. Information given by medical staff generally very different to what happens in reality as it appears admin staff make vast majority of decisions irrespective of medical staff wishes.

Outpatients fairly chaotic eg on 1 visit notes were lost and another waited over 2 hours before being told consultant had day off and I couldn't be seen.

I have been a patient for over 2 years and attended for surgery 3 times. Each time it has been a different doctor to the one specified and each time they have decided on a slightly different procedure. On day of the last surgery in the morning I saw 2 different doctors who each said they would be doing operation. At theatre there was a different doctor again who didn't know why I was there and I had to wait over an hour sitting outside the theatre until my notes arrived. During this time most nursing staff spent most of time chatting and looking at photos of a baby. 2 staff were working really hard looking after patients. Only once was I asked if I was ok. An anaesthetist intervened and asked for a blanket for me as I was clearly shivering with cold. The doctor who gave feedback and discharged me next day didn't really know what had been done and couldn't give me any information. Still waiting for results of biopsy 6 months after operation.

Follow up appt. re-arranged 5 times. Did not receive 1 letter until after the re-arranged appt but still discharged for failure to attend. Took several phone calls and intervention of Pals to reinstate but will not now receive results of biopsy until nearly a year after operation - and that's if the appt isn't cancelled by the hospital again.

Anything else?

I could continue with numerous examples of poor practice but I think the above is sufficient to give a flavour.

Although some of the medical intervention and some medical staff have been good generally the treatment and care for a person as an individual human being with feelings and intelligence has been uttterly diabolical. The attitude of one consultant was particularly rude, dismissive and callous. He does need to learn that it is possible for patients to hear what he is saying through a thin piece of curtain! However from his general attitude and demeanour I guess he knows but doesn't care.

I have chosen to remain anonymous and not make a formal complaint as theoretically I am still a patient. Even though at all times I have remained calm and polite when I have tried to intervene and sort things out the attitude of administrative staff has not been in the least helpful. When they have promised to do something and phone me back this has actually never happened. Querying things appears to result in worse treament and appointments being cancelled and put back by several months even when the consultant has asked for an urgent appt. Basically I give up!

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Responses

Response from Kettering General Hospital

We were saddened to have received your comments about your care and apologise for any distress this has caused. We take complaints very seriously and use these and any lessons learnt to improve our services. We would like to assure you that if you were to make a formal complaint it would be handled sensitively and would not influence decisions about your care. Your comments appear to relate to a number of areas across the hospital and to help us address them further it would be really helpful if you could contact me on 01536 492779 - the more information we have the better able we are to deal with the issues raised.

We are working hard to ensure that all staff understand the importance of communicating well with our patients and whilst this may not have been your experience of the hospital I must stress that we are striving to improve.

We are also concerned that you have not received the results of your biopsy and would urge you to either make an appointment to see your GP or contact your named Consultant's secretary so that this can be progressed.

Jacqueline Barker - Head of Nursing, Surgery and Surgical Specialties

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