"I have visited the outpatients clinics..."

About: St Peter's Hospital (Chertsey)

What I liked

I have visited the outpatients clinics on several occasions, in particular the asthma clinic, and have been shocked at the offhand manner of receptionists and the chaos of appointments. It is a normal experience to wait 2 hours after your appointment time with no explanation or information on offer - receptionists frequently refuse to tell car drivers approx times, and behave as if it is an imposition to ask them - this is NOT the case at Frimley Park where receptionists almost always give good information and often will ring a car driver when the patient has completed their appointments. There seems to be a culture of 'don't care won't bother' in St Peter's hospital, in spite of all the fine words. Information boards where present are often a day or two out of date, and never corrected or updated.

The rheumataology clinic is an exception - staff there have been friendly and helpful.

What could be improved

Appointment times kept to. Proper information to be given if there is a delay. Patients should be treated with respect or even possibly care and friendliness! Get some compulsory customer service training from Tesco!

Anything else?

Is it a sick building? Should the whole thing be pulled down and rebuilt elsewhere on a decent sized site?

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Responses

Response from St Peter's Hospital

We are sorry that your experience at St Peter's Hospital and the asthma clinic in particular was not as you or we would have wished. Sue Henry, the sister in charge of the outpatient's department, has read your comments and would like to apologise if you found the manner of the reception staff to be off hand, as this is certainly not acceptable.

At our asthma clinic, the doctor may decide a patient needs an x-ray or lung function test before their consultation and this can cause a cumulative delay. Also, we book patients into appointments of a certain length of time (e.g. 10 minutes or 15 minutes) but some patients may have a lot of questions to ask and their time can overrun. We do not want anyone to feel rushed through their appointment, but appreciate this can cause a knock-on delay for others. Our nursing team in the outpatient's department do have a project underway to look at individual clinics and identify common reasons for delays, so these issues can be resolved.

However, whatever the reason a clinic is delayed, there is no excuse for poor communication and we would like to assure you that your feedback will be passed onto the relevant staff and acted upon. We do have information boards located in the patient's waiting area for staff to record any wait times and also ask staff to give a verbal announcement. Again, we apologise if this was not the case during your visit.

We have recently refurbished our outpatient's department and tried to make the booking-in process easier for patients. The feedback has generally been positive so we are naturally disappointed that we didn't get it right on this occasion. We would welcome the opportunity to learn further from your experiences and would like to invite you to contact Sue Henry directly on 01932 722048 to discuss this.

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