"My experience in the General Outpatients Department"

About: Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow / Outpatients

(as the patient),

I arrived at 5:30 pm  in plenty time for my appointment at 6 pm at the General Outpatients /department. I had inquired that morning on how to check in for my evening appointment, when I was attending a CT Scan which was I must say well organised.

I was told not to scan my letter too early so I scanned it at 5: 50 pm and the information given stated that I had to wait at Area C. At 6:05 pm. My husband thought there was something not right about the information that was given so he popped into area B where there was a reception area. He was told that there was a mistake with the information and that it should be Area B. We then waited another 30 minutes and the doctor appeared to say that I was to have a breathing test and the nurse would take me up but she would have to take another patient to the main desk and then she would come back and take us up to the place where the breathing test would be carried out. We sat again for another 5 minutes when the administrator then said they would take us up. He chapped the door and said that I was here to have the test. After another 5 minutes sitting there I was eventually called in, there was no other patients waiting to be seen.

After doing the test we returned to Area B and yet again we sat for another 30 minutes because quite frankly they had slotted other patients in whilst I was away having the tests. Why should I have waited 30 minutes for the doctor to then say I was to have a breathing test before I could see them. Surely if I arrived on time for my appointment then they could have said to go for the breathing test rather than sitting about and other patients taken before me.

Quite frankly it was total chaos and I know there were no other patients at that time before me.

Because I was so disgusted by the whole scenario I left the breathing test information with the administrator to give to the doctor, and said that another appointment will have to be re-scheduled and I will certainly not be taking an appointment in the evening.

I also cannot understand why it was the doctor who came out to say you will have to go to the breathing test first. I feel that I have been totally fobbed off. There was simply no organisational skills in this appointment compared to the morning when everything was clearly explained and carried out most professionally.

My main point is if my husband hadn't gone to check elsewhere how long would I have sat in Area C?

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Responses

Response from Lorna Gray, Patient Experience, Public Involvement Project Manager, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Dear Anne Mcg,

I am really sorry that this was what you experienced when you visited the Outpatients Department - the process was definitely not as smooth as we would expect and I completely understand your frustration at the whole situation.

From what you have said, the whole issue lies in a lack of joined-up communication between the service and you as the patient. You are right when you say that the process could have gone much more smoothly for you had you been told when you arrived that you needed to go for another test, which may have reduced the overall time you spent waiting. It would also have hopefully reduced the sense of disorganisation you felt at the time. This is definitely something that will be fed back to the whole team to ensure they are aware of the impact poor communication can have on the patient experience and how they can really make a difference to that.

I'm glad that you saw a completely different side to this earlier in the day, and for most people their appointments go as smoothly as your first one did, however I know that that probably only increased your frustration later in the day. I hope that you have had your rescheduled appointment through, or will certainly be getting this very soon and I hope that it is a much more positive experience, like the one you had for your CT scan.

As I mentioned, your feedback will be passed on to the team at Outpatients and I will ask them to update here on how that has been used. I would also appreciate you giving us an update on your experience at your next appointment, whether good or bad so that we can see how things have improved.

Thank you again for getting in touch, it's much appreciated.

Best Wishes,

Lorna

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