"Poor communication"

About: Royal Berkshire Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics

This relates to an appointment I had to discuss my test results and the next steps regarding treatment. I had chosen Henley in the "choose and book" system for my outpatient care, but admin staff took it upon themselves to relocate the appointment to the Royal Berkshire without checking with me or telling me why. When I got there for the appointment, they were running over two hours behind schedule but they did not bother to volunteer this information until I eventually asked, and even then they downplayed the extent of the delay. My eventual appointment was a fifteen minute consultation, including nothing that could not have been done over the phone. Including the waiting and travelling, this took over five hours of my time.

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Response from Royal Berkshire Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to post about your recent experience in our Orthopaedic Outpatient Department. It is difficult to give you a definitive reason for the changes made to the location of your appointment as your post is anonymous. If you would like us to look into your experience in more detail, please contact our Patient Relations Team on 0118 322 8338. They will pass on your details to the matron for the area who can then investigate further.

However, we have recently seen a reduction in consultant hours within our department and this may have necessitated your move to the Royal Berkshire Hospital. We are very sorry that we did not contact you to make you aware of this prior to your appointment.

We are also sorry that the nursing staff did not update you with any delays in individual clinics; they are encouraged to announce any delays regularly and update reception and the clinic board with current waiting times.

We are aware of the frustration that our patients experience when turning up to a clinic, only to receive information that they could have received over the telephone. Our Orthopaedic Outpatient Department has been one of the leaders in developing virtual clinics for our trauma patients and are currently looking into how we can introduce telephone clinics for our speciality clinics. This will hopefully reduce the disruption and unnecessary visits to the hospital for a lot of our patients.

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