"outpatient appt"

About: St Mary's Hospital (London)

I am a senior professonial in an allied sphere and used to managing personal relations with service users. I was highly dissatisfied with my experience of using the Outpatients at St Marys although I was entirely satisfied with the consultation itself.

I have in fact just written a review on this site and it disappeared irretrievably when I clicked to reread it before sending, so even the review site is hard to use and frustrating.

On arrival from the canal exit from the tube it was not obvious how to find the outpatients - although there was a map it would have helped to place a signpost on Winsland St near the tube as it looks like a dead-end.

On entering the outpatients, there is no Reception as the desk is labelled Transport.

I used a self service terminal and was unsure that I had successfully completed the process. It was then unclear where i should go and I happened to notice a screen listing clinics. Had I been an EAL speaker I might not have known that I needed 'Dermatology' - did the terminal tell me where to go and I missed it?

There were staff at various desks but no-one seemed interested in asking if I needed help and when I did ask if I needed to report to them I was waved on.

I overheard several conversations in the short time I was there which indicated frustration on the part of staff. For example, a doctor was asked by nurses if they knew how to call up (?) a prescription and they said they did not yet know how to work elements of the system.

I was also surprised that two staff members collaborated to write up notes, one dictating aloud, in a public area, although I did not hear a name. Surely this is unacceptable?

When I presented my form to reception staff as I left they thought I had been discharged until I pointed out that I need another appt. I asked to give my email address so that I could receive appts via email and was told this was not possible.

I had in fact been asked to provide this on the terminal but had not managed to enter it.

I felt that the parts of the hospital I saw were tatty, confusing, depressing and very well staffed with people apparently doing very little. Apart from my consultation, I had had no meaningful human contact.

I knew that my medical needs were almost certainly not concerning but had I been feeling more anxious I would have found the whole experience very distressing.

Story from NHS Choices

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Responses

Response from St Mary's Hospital

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust are concerned about your posting on NHS Choices and wish to apologise for your experience with the out patients department at St Mary's hospital.

Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) would like to be able to look into this matter on your behalf. In the meantime I have forwarded your feedback on to the relevant service managers. We would like to encourage you to contact PALS on either 0203 312 7777 or email pals@imperial.nhs.uk

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