"When targets dont seem to matter"

About: Queen's Medical Centre

(as the patient),

My GP ordered a scan at QMC Nottingham for a suspected neuro condition. It was ordered by computer in my presence.

After waiting for six weeks a telephone enquiry to the hospital was met by a departmental answerphone. Three repeat calls at weekly intervals got no reply as promised by the answerphone voice.

A personal visit to the relevant department revealed a quiet highly polished environment. After waiting for the kind attention of a staff member who took some time to look up from their desk I had the impression of a casual approach.

My enquiry received a vague explanation of the appointment system and confirmation that my name was on the list for attention.

A visit to the PALS office for advice suggested, I thought, casualness was not limited to only one area of the QMC.

A few days later an appointment arrived for several weeks ahead. At my arrival for that appointment it came to light that my pacemaker precluded the type of scan and a new process had to be initiated to arrange for another type of examination.

Some weeks later my CT scan report has arrived indicating a serious but not life threatening situation is involved.

My concern is for those who have to jump through such hoops before getting more serious reports. For the first time I can understand why patients sometimes take legal action against the NHS.

In view of the reported great increase in administrative staff in the NHS should not standards be higher?

On my visits to the hospital it is noticeable that sometimes in the main reception area there are as many non medical staff milling about as patients. Until recently I have held the QMC in high regard and I am sure many departments maintain high standards but my experience has been with several clearly in need of change.

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