"Unacceptably long waiting time"
About: Lister Hospital Lister Hospital Stevenage SG1 4AB
Posted by Sue
I had an outpatients appointment on 8 September at 3.30 pm.
I wasn't actually seen until 4.50 pm, a delay of 1 hour 20 minutes.
To make matters worse, several patients who arrived a lot later went in for their appointments within 10 to 15 minutes of arrival.
Eventually, after waiting almost one hour, I asked the receptionist what was going on.
I was told that the patients who were going in quickly were the ones seeing the consultant for a first appointment, whereas those who were waiting a long time had follow up appointments with the registrar, who had a long backlog.
I was then told that there were six people ahead of me in the queue.
Whilst I generally expect a slight delay for a medical appointment, whether at hospital or with my GP, I have never before had to wait anywhere near this long.
Given that the clinic had only started two hours before my appointment, I find it difficult to see how it could have become so delayed in such a short length of time.
The point I should like to make is that the most frustrating thing was the lack of information.
If I had been told on arrival that the clinic was running over an hour late, I wouldn't have been very happy but would have accepted it and settled down for a long wait.
May I suggest that you either make sure information about delays is communicated verbally or that you install a whiteboard in the waiting area where the staff could communicate the information by writing a message to inform people of delays.
Shortly after my conversation with reception, someone did come round and asked all of us our names.
They then apologised for the delay and said that the registrar was catching up.
I don't think that was the case as someone went in at 4.30 for his 3.15 appointment so my delay was even longer than his.
I am also unhappy that, through no fault of my own, I ended up paying more for car parking than would have been the case had I been seen more promptly.