"Dietetics Appointment"

I attended the Dietetics Clinic the just over a week ago and I am sad to say that there were more negatives than there were positives. This was my 4th time visiting the hospital within a matter of 6 months so needless to say, the Hospital environment was still impeccably clean and all the staff were approachable and friendly. However, this is about as far as I can go in terms of positive feedback for the hospital in regards to my visits.

This is where the negatives begin. I had an appointment time of 2:30pm and I was booked in with no problems and sat down in the waiting area ready to be called for my appointment. I booked in at around 2:21pm all ready and on time for my appointment 9 minutes later. However, that wait went from being 9 minutes long to just under 1hr 55mins with no contact from any members of staff to inform me that the clinic was running behind schedule or when I would eventually be seen! I can totally appreciate that staff are rushed off their feet and clinics do get very busy but to have to wait almost 2hrs after my scheduled appointment time without anybody coming over to me OR announcing that the clinic(s) were running X minutes behind schedule just isn't on.

The next issue which I was informed to mention within this review by the medical professional I saw was in regards to the making of appointments. Between the end of November 2015 and the end of February 2016, Birmingham QE called me 3 times to cancel appointments to see the same medical professional on the same clinic. I discussed this with the the person that I saw on clinic just over a week ago and they were totally bewildered as to who and why I had been rung 3 times in a matter of 3 months to cancel appointments when they were there and were expecting to see me on those appointment dates. The one cancellation I received from the Hospital was actually a call on the morning of the appointment, yet the medical professional that I saw in clinic the other week was unaware of any of these cancellations. The biggest disgrace with this matter is that Birmingham QE state on their letters that if a patient cancels 3 or more times for an appointment, then they strike the patient off so they won't be seen. So why do they think its acceptable that they are allowed to cancel patient appointments 3 times in a matter of weeks, when a patient is not allowed to do the same? In my case the person I was supposed to be seeing on clinic had no idea that it was the Hospital continuously cancelling and rescheduling my appointments (even cancelling on the day of my appointment), something which needs to be changed urgently as these instances are just absolutely disgraceful and have prolonged the length of time it has taken me to get any treatment for my illnesses.

I contacted the hospital days ago to ask for a call back as the diet I've been put on has made me increasingly unwell and I felt like I needed support. However, days later I am still waiting for someone to call me back!!!

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Response from Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham

Dear Jak

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback about your experience at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. We are pleased to hear that you found the hospital environment impeccably clean and that all the staff were approachable and friendly. However, we are very sorry to hear that you have encountered problems with waiting times in the dietetics clinic, cancellation of appointments and that you are still waiting for a member of dietetic staff to call you back. We understand how frustrating this must be and we are keen to speak to you directly so we can investigate your poor experience and make sure you receive your awaited call. If you are happy to do this please make contact as soon as possible via the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) who will be pleased to put you in touch with the relevant senior staff.

PALS can be contacted by phone 0121 371 3280, by email PALS@uhb.nhs.uk, via the hospital website www.uhb.nhs.uk/pals-form or in person by dropping in between 9am – 5pm (Mon-Fri) to the PALS office located near the Information Desk in the main entrance of the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.