"Patients using wheelchairs would like to be shown the same courteous service"

About: East Surrey Hospital East Surrey Hospital / Urology

(as the patient),

I attended the urology out-patients clinic. I approached and waited behind the white line. I am pushed in front of by a patient handing a form in. I am told by a receptionist behind a high desk I will be with you in a minute. I continue to wait behind the line. Eventually after 3 receptionists stopped talking, I am shouted at, "can I help you?" I said very loudly I need you to speak to me at the lower end of desk I am not shouting my business out. I go round to the side of the desk saying to this person, "when you see someone in a wheelchair you should be either coming out to see them or asking time them to come to the lower desk". The receptionist says "oh I apologise". My words must have hit home, as after that anyone who came in a chair they made a point of coming out to them.

This isn't the first time I have raised this concern of this clinic. There used to be a lower end where I was dealt with. But it's gone and I wouldn't shout at anytime my business. The clinic was full. There is no designated spaces left to put a wheelchair. I had to sit near the toilets.

During the 65 mins I waited to be seen, the clinic was visited by 6 staff. They were taken in and out of most of the rooms. Obviously, I was invisible to them as they continued to push pass me twice. I had no other place to sit. "Excuse me" would have been nice, but patients without whom they would have no jobs paled into the background. Please be aware, patients using wheelchairs would like to be shown the same courteous service as those patients that walk.

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

Dear arfurs mum,

Thank you for bringing your observations to our attention. I will pass your comments on to our head of outpatient services who will ensure that her team are made aware of the points you raise and how important it is to consider the individual needs of each patient.

With best wishes,

Cathy White

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