"Great care, poor customer care"

About: Freeman Hospital / Ear, Nose and Throat

(as a carer),

My daughter (aged 5) showed signs of hearing difficulties. GP found no obvious problem so we used choose and book to get us into the 5-50 clinic at FRH ENT. We deliberately picked first appt of day (as she was 5 and typically does not do waiting rooms well). Got to FRH as per appt - reception not due to open until 15 mins after appt time! When it did open I got 'told off' for not announcing arrival sooner - who were we to do this to?

Eventually a staff member, no idea who as failed to introduce herself, (which excluding consultant has been the same on All subsequent visits) had audiology test (didn't do well). Advised by audiologist who did the test she would need to see ENT specialist. To achieve this our GP had to refer us back to same dept as first appt, it seems been to audiology not ENT and therefore consultant would not see without second referral specifically to him despite having test results. We know he had them as they resulted in him writing to our GP saying, basically, I have reviewed these test results, please write back and ask me to see her! (Who says NHS has waste!)

When finally we did see ENT, both initially and on subsequent appointments, was impressed with waiting room alert (gadget vibrates, flashes and beeps) but all this appears to do is move you from one seating area to next. Result - 5 year old, who became 6 year old but who usually (average appt 1.5 hours) was beside self by time we were seen despite me bringing toys / books and then "wouldn't concentrate" when finally seen.

On last appointment (in despair) I asked if we could go any where else to keep her occupied so both she and I were still sane when we saw Dr to be asked by receptionist why we hadn't used children’s waiting room - if we knew about it, believe me we would have used it.

Suggestions: open reception BEFORE first appt due, ask staff to have courtesy of introducing self / display a badge visibly, remove ridiculous beaurocracy of having to refer back to person who has written to GP saying please refer this child to me as hearing test suggests I need to see her and tell parents you have a kids waiting area in advance / on arrival. I do realise NHS pressures (been a nurse in the NHS for 15 years) and thankfully daughter's hearing issues resolved naturally with time but overall 'customer care' experience means FRH did not live up to its reputation

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