"Fewer clearer signs would be much more helpful"

About: Queen's Medical Centre

I had to drop a sample off this morning at the andrology lab. The staff were really helpful when I booked the appointment and I felt confident I knew where I was going. There is a time pressure for these samples to be in the lab within an hour, and therefore in the hour leading up to the appointment there was a pressure for my husband to produce the sample and me to get it to the lab on time - it's quite stressful. I arrived on time and the first thing I saw at the entrance was a buzzer for sample drop off. I pressed this and waited. After no response, I pressed again and waited. This continued for 5 minutes as I became increasingly stressed I would miss the time slot. I then pushed the door to discover it was open, looked again at the buzzer and saw the really small sign to say that the buzzer was for weekends and out of hours. Feeling very stupid, I apologised and the member of staff at reception said it was amazing the number of people that did that. The sample was delivered on time, but on my way home with stress levels reduced I thought that if it was amazing that so many people did the same as me, why does some one not change the sign or make it clearer. When you are under stress and pressure to get some where, you don't see anything other than what you think you need. The bold sign on the buzzer for sample drop off was the only thing I saw while under pressure - I am sure the small sign is very obvious when you are not. I take full responsibility for my lack of awareness, but when learning that many other people do the same thing, it made me think there must be a better way of doing it. Maybe either answering the buzzer when someone clearly hasn't seen the sign and keeps pressing it, or make it very clear you can just go through. The NHS is brilliant, but a few little thoughtful changes could make the world of difference both for patients and staff.

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Responses

Response from Queen's Medical Centre

Thank you for your honest feedback. I absolutely agree – this is a ‘just do it’ - a simple solution that will prevent future patients going through the same frustrating experience as you did. I’ve passed your feedback on to the Andrology laboratory so that they can make this improvement.

Best wishes, Andrew Steggles, Patient Experience Officer

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