"Extremely rude staff!"

About: North Tyneside General Hospital

This afternoon I visited the walk-in clinic with my two small children, simply with an infected sore on the back of my two year old daughter's leg. Fearing she may need antibiotics and feeling unhappy about waiting till our own doctors open on Monday - I made the decision to go here. We were greeted by a pleasant person who asked me if I had an appointment. I said no and explained that I was looking for the walk-in centre. They smiled and directed me to the person sitting next to her. Never actually looking up from their computer screen, this person abruptly said "postcode?" To which I answered and said "could you please tell me roughly how long the wait time would be?". They ignored this and again, abruptly, said "surname?". I replied and they confirmed my address. I repeated my question regarding the waiting time and sighed as they said "few hours". I said that with having two small children, it may be more sensible for us to go to another walk-in with a shorter wait time and said it may not be worth booking her in just yet till I'd rang a couple and checked. But still without as much as looking up at me, very rudely said "Well she already is, you can't take her till she's seen a nurse so take a seat". Their manner was atrocious and I was disgusted. I glanced at the person sitting next to her that I had originally spoken to and they were cringing. Neither myself, nor my two young children were the cause for their horrendous bad mood and to have someone like this 'greeting' the general public, acting as the face of your establishment is unbelievable. I sat down and rang a couple of local walk-in centres with waiting times of an hour or less, I went back to the desk and apologised but we would no longer need the appointment. They cut me off and very rudely said "she's a child - you can't take her away until she's seen a nurse so go through that door and tell them". I agreed and started to explain that I'd spoken to another centre and I could get my daughter seen sooner, however I had hardly uttered 3 words before they again cut me off and very abruptly said "Regardless, she needs to see a nurse." And again pointed to the door to their right. I am utterly infuriated at the way they treated us and make no mistake that we will not be using this service again. Such a shame, as had the first person I spoke to been my only impression of your staff, I'd have been completely satisfied. The person on the desk of your walk-in centre at 4pm today is an absolute disgrace and should not be allowed to represent your centre.

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Response from North Tyneside General Hospital

Dear Sir/ Madam,

Firstly, thank you for taking the time to share this with us. You will understand why I am so disappointed to read that a member of our staff has failed to welcome you to the Trust in the way we would expect . The behaviour you describe sounds totally indefensible and I am very sorry that her actions have caused you to leave the hospital feeling so infuriated.

I would completely agree with you - our reception staff have such an essential part to play at the very front end of all our services. They have an immediate opportunity to enhance the patient experience and reassure at important moments in people's life. I have a great deal of respect for all they do particularly when under pressure and demands are high.

Rudeness is never acceptable and I want to act quickly to identify who was on duty at the time of your visit, to investigate your concerns and support the staff member to change where necessary. Unfortunately I can't do any of this whilst your post remains anonymous.

Please consider working with us to resolve matters. Grateful if you would send me your details privately via email ( name, d.o.b. and the time and date of your visit) to Annie.laverty@nhct.nhs.uk.

Hope your wee girl's leg is a lot better,


Annie Laverty - Director of Patient Experience

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