"Excellent care but where's the organisation?"

About: Royal Hallamshire Hospital

My wife had long-awaited eye surgery cancelled at the last minute because of a lack of inter-departmental communication. My 76 year old mother has been inundated with dozens of inappropriate appointment times after being referred by her GP for a problem our local hospital was unable to deal with. There seems to be a general assumption amongst Hallamshire-based appointments staff that all out-patients live within a five mile radius of S10. My mother was constantly being sent appointments by automated telephone message for times she would have found virtually impossible to make unless she awoke at the crack of dawn and managed to find someone to drive her the 25 or so miles via two busy motorways and the Sheffield Ring-Road system through rush-hour traffic for a morning appointment at the Hallamshire. She was unable to get anyone on the phone who could tell her exactly what she needed to know because nobody seemed to be in full knowledge of all the facts pertaining to her case. The problem, as was the problem in my wife's case, was the fact that my mother's condition needed the attention of several different departments, all of which appear to have their own independent appointment system and don't seem to communicate with each other. Our local NHS Trust covers four hospitals approximately 20 miles apart yet has a co-ordinated appointments system whereby everybody knows where they should be and at what time. Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, on the other hand, with a smaller area to cover, operates a totally chaotic system which must leave most out-patients totally confused and frustrated. Would it be too much to ask that STH gets its administrative finger out and gets a comprehensively co-ordinated appointments system set-up?

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Responses

Response from Deborah Hopkinson, Patient Experience Co-ordinator, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback. I am very sorry to hear about the appointment difficulties that both your wife and your mother have experienced and that you have gained a very poor impression of our administrative processes.

We are continuously looking at ways to improve processes and to try to alleviate difficulties for our patients and for our staff to work in efficient and effective ways.

We would like to look into the concerns you have expressed and wonder if we could have more details so that we can personally respond to you? If you could provide further details to our Patient Services Team we would be most grateful. The team can be contacted by telephoning 0114 271 2400 or via email at pst@sth.nhs.uk

Kind regards.

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