"Reception staff - training issue?"

About: Royal Derby Hospital

Visited ultrasound dept., arrived early as also had x-ray 1 hour prior. Initial reception contact fine, however at appointment time I asked if appointments were running to time. I was told yes and that I was next. Thirty mins later, still waiting. Asked a clinical member of staff who kindly looked into what was happening and returned to inform me that I was going to be seen by a Doctor, and that they were going to find out what the delay was. I have no issue with having to wait, what I think would have been good practice, was for the receptionist to have done what the clinical staff member had done. Communication goes a very long way. The Reception team spent time chatting amongst themselves whilst phones were ringing constantly. Four reception staff seen when I arrived, three went on their break, leaving one alone. Although manager & one other colleague sat doing rota, and I have to say that lone receptionist worked well to ensure arriving patients were attended to promptly.

Once in with the Doctor, they apologised for the delay, explaining that they had come from another dept. and then had to set up the room. My question to the doctor was "why is a Doctor setting up a room? Surely a HCA or receptionist could do that, whilst you do what Doctors should be doing?" Seems to me that the role of the supporting staff (HCA/Receptionist) should be re-defined or additional staff implemented so that clinicians can do what they get paid to do. The Doctor also said that mine and several other patients had multiple procedures required but had not been allocated double appointment slots, so 20 minute procedures are being given 10 minute appointment slots. Does this need looking into?

Reception staff were seen to be rolling eyes, at my comments, another patient was late and that gave rise to a ten minute conversation about whether he should be seen or not, despite the clinician agreeing to still see him. All this I heard and observed from my seat in the waiting room.

I would like to give praise to the staff in the X-Ray dept., as my journey through that dept. went very smoothly, the staff were friendly and professional and could not be faulted.

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Response from Royal Derby Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences following your attendance in both the Ultrasound Department and X-Ray Department, which I will forward to the Manager responsible for those areas.

If you would like to speak with a Patient Advice & Liaison Officer (PALS) to discuss this in more detail, please contact PALS on freephone 0800 783 7691 quoting reference 31268.

Kind Regards


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