"children's brakes"

About: Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

I have been unfortunate enough to recently visit this department with two of my sons (one in February and one currently undergoing treatment) after football injuries. The treatment received at the ED was really good and both boys were x-rayed and plastered relatively quickly.

My issue is with the service after the initial treatment. Twice I have been sent follow up appointments just before the appointment (one on a Friday for the Monday and the second on the Saturday for the Monday). This is very short notice when you work and a few extra days notice would be very helpful, especially as you cannot cancel appointments over the weekend.

A further issue is with the telephone numbers provided. On the letters sent, it should state that they are not open over the weekend so that people (like myself) do not spend hours trying a number that doesn't get answered. I only realised after speaking to a different department, who couldn't help or pass messages. A leaflet given at the time of the injury also provides numbers which are not answered (I tried the weekend number in excess of fifteen times throughout a Saturday and it was never answered despite it being stated that that number was for weekend and bank holiday calls). Instead it resulted in a further trip to the ED department, when it could have potentially been avoided if the phone had been answered and advice given.

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Response from Rhona Hartley, Head of Patient Experience and Customer Care, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback. I was pleased to hear of the high standard of care your sons received in the Emergency Department and have taken the liberty of sharing your feedback with staff in the department. I was however, concerned to hear of the issues you had experienced in relation to not receiving the appointment letters in a timely manner and the matters you described concerning the telephone. I have shared your constructive feedback with the relevant managers to ask them to look into the points you made and to take action as appropriate to improve the situation.

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