"There was not too long a queue ..."

About: Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Birmingham)

(as the patient),

What I liked

There was not too long a queue at the check in desk. The receptionist noted my appointment time on my file, on the sheet related to that appointment. When I was finally seen, I did get an apology, and the care and awareness of my condition were exemplary.

There were chairs facing away from the TV screen. Easier to read that way, and the sound was not too loud. Easy to blot out.

What could be improved

The delays already known about could have been notified to reception staff so that they could offer patients a better time to return.

Much better awareness of the fact that patients have a life outside the NHS . Why not have a numbering system to see the doctor as well as just for taking blood? Just so that you know how many numbers there are to go.

Anything else?

What is the point of whingeing about patients not turning up for appointments if the fappointment time is requently ignored? I have visited Cancer Centre outpatients twice in November for a 10.30 appointment, and had to wait until nearly 12 noon to see someone. If it is an appointment and not a clinic time, it should be kept to. I don't mind waiting up to 20 minutes occasionally when there is a problem, but if my file is just put at the bottom of the heap and I am ignored for a couple of hours, I fail to see how that is good service.

I know it looks petty, but if a nurse stands in the doorway having a protracted 'afterthought' with the doctor, it is very aggravating. My results were good, but if the news I had been waiting for was very bad, it would have been a very poor lead in.

The Cancer care is excellent, but the patient waiting times are abysmal. When I was on Chemotherapy, I would be feeling very sick for all of that time, though not really very much at other times. There is very poor information for waiting outpatients and it is annoying and sometimes very upsetting.

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Response from Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback on your experience at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

We welcome all feedback and would like to assure you that all comments are taken seriously and acted upon as part of our ongoing commitment to improving patient experience.

We were very concerned to hear that you did not have a good experience in relation to certain aspects of your visit. Your comments have been sent to the manager of the department you visited in order that they can try to improve things for future patients. Please contact us via PALS (see below for details) if you would like to discuss these issues further.

In addition to this you have made some very useful comments and suggestions, we would like to reassure you these have also been passed onto the relevant manager of the department you have mentioned.

Thank you again for taking the trouble to post your comments on the NHS Choices website.

If you would like further information on services at UHB or would like to discuss any of the points raised in more detail please contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service who will be pleased to assist you. You can contact them by phone 0121 627 8820, by email PALS@uhb.nhs.uk, via the hospital website http://www.uhb.nhs.uk/Patients/Pals/Contact.aspx or in person by dropping in between 10am-4pm (Mon-Fri) to the PALS office located near the main entrance.

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