"Concerns about my mother's urology appointment"

About: Royal Hallamshire Hospital / Urology

(as a relative),

I took my mother for a urology outpatient appointment at the end of December 09, at the Hallamshire, to see Mr. Anderson. The appointment was for 3.40, so because of the ice and snow, my mother rang to check the clinic would be going ahead and to see if a telephone call could be arranged instead. She was told the clinic was going ahead and that she should attend.

When we arrived, the receptionist was chatting to a colleague. My mother put her letter on the counter and the receptionist picked it up, without acknowledgement or eye contact. She then asked my mother to confirm D.O.B., address etc. This was far from confidential - other patients were sat less than 6 feet away.

At around 4 pm, another patient asked if he would have to wait much longer, and was told 'its a very busy clinic'. We were eventually seen at 5.30 - almost 2 hours late. At no point were we told how late it was likely to be, or offered an explanation or apology.

When we saw Mr. Anderson, he told my mother she was being discharged - wasn't this good news 'worth the wait'. No apology or acknowledgement of any inconvenience, or of the tension involved in waiting in that environment, not knowing if you were to be told you had the all clear or that you had cancer.

3 points about my mother’s experience:

- we found the reception very poor.

- why could this not have been dealt with by a phone call, which would have saved my mother having to negotiate the cold and the dangerous conditions underfoot?

- the discharge is on the basis that the investigations do not appear to be worthwhile, but there have been 4 of these, each requiring a general anaesthetic. When I was asked if the risk had reduced, I was told that they had decided to change the management. So was my mother subjected to all those apparently unnecessary operations?

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