"The staff in suite 7 where my ..."

About: King's College Hospital (Denmark Hill)

(as a relative),

What I liked

The staff in suite 7 where my mother had an out-patient appointment kept us well-informed of progress although it was regrettable that there was a delay to her being see because her notes had been misplaced.

What could be improved

The notes could have been tracked down sooner - the appointment had been set a week previously after all.

The way that we were treated when trying to book a colonoscopy (see below).

Anything else?

Following the appointment my mother was sent to have a blood test and then to book a colonoscopy. When we reached the department for the colonoscopy, we were greeted with the news that an appointment could not be booked at that time because everyone was at lunch. I asked what time they went to lunch and I was told that it was from 12 to 2. I pointed out that it was only 11:55am and was told that there was only one of the staff there who booked appointments and her time would be taken up until 12. I appreciate that we all need breaks from work, particularly from computer screens, but the whole way in which our approach was handled was hardly an acceptable way to deal with people who are possibly very seriously ill and trying to book urgent tests. It was pointed out that there was a phone number so that the test could be booked by phone later and when my mother rang she was actually told that the lunch break was shorter than we had been told earlier.

At the very least, perhaps the slip which one is given to take to the department to book the colonoscopy could state the appointment desk opening times and also state that appointment booking over the phone is possible so that a tired, ill patient does not walk round unnecessarily. Preferably the staff should be trained in a more considerate and caring approach. I work dealing with potential customers and, if I am at my desk having lunch and one of these people happens to telephone, for instance, I am more than happy to interrupt my lunch to help. By the same token, if I were a member of staff in this department I would have stretched the time limit a bit. Then again, I would actually have preferred to have been met with a rolled down shutter or a sign saying "closed for lunch back at ...." than this attitude.

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Response from King's College Hospital (Denmark Hill)

Thank you for taking the time to give us your comments. I am very sorry that you have concerns about the service you received from King's College Hospital and would like to apologise on behalf of the Trust. King's is always trying to improve the service it provides and your comments will help us to do this. As you are aware, your comments were passed onto our Patient Advice and Liaison Service and we do hope that they have been able to assist in resolving the issues that you raised. If we can be of any further help, please do not hesitate to contact us again.