"Professional, compassionate staff but a..."

About: York Hospital

What I liked

My mother had been called to the breast screening department for a repeat mammogram and further investigations after her initial mammogram showed a suspicious area. She was understandably extremely anxious and we had never been to the hospital before. She was seen promptly and staff were very courteous and friendly. The Macmillan nurse who dealt with my mother was in particular very helpful, sensitive and professional. Upon learning that my mother would need a biopsy that day and that the likelihood was that the area was cancerous the nurse was extremely empathetic (and very sincere) and really accommodated us well, as both my mother and I were in a state of shock and I in particular was very upset. We were spoken to in a private room and when my mother went for her biposy the nurse actually came back to see how I was and to talk to me. I found this very refreshing. Arrangements for results etc were clearly explained and although it was an exhausting and traumatic day I felt that the nursing, radiology and medical staff were exceptional. As a nurse myself I can appreciate that dealing with patients like my mother is the department's "bread and butter" and often truly individualised care is lacking but we felt that this was not the case and my mother was seen as both a patient in need of honest and open communication but also a human being with feelings.

What could be improved

The car parking was the biggest nightmare I have ever experienced at a hospital! I appreciate that a new multi storey car park is in the process of being built but the facilities were atrocious. My mother had been sent a parking permit restricted to around 5 spaces near A&E (of course full so a waste of time) and we must have waited 30 mins for a space (luckily got there early as unfamiliar with the hospital). It was also very expensive to park and I have noticed on subsequent visits that in the clinic uncertainties about how long a lady must wait to be seen and whether they need further tests etc causes massive anxieties about car parking running out and tickets being issued. In an already stressful situation I have to say that trying to find a car parking space should be the least of your worries.

Unfortunately my mother's biopsy was insufficient and we had an appointment to return the week after. This was subsequently cancelled as the X-ray machine needed for a mammogram under X-ray was not working. I understand that equipment often breaks down but my mother was absolutely devastated that yet again she would have to wait for her results. She was told that the unit would ring her mid week to rearrange the test. In the meantime my mother went to her GP as did not hear anything for around 4 days who then rang the unit direct for an appointment. On arrival for this appointment and after my mum was prepped and had the local anaesthetic given the dr noticed that the said piece of equipment had a part missing and had obviously not been checked after it had been repaired. My mother was understandably very upset and angry and specified in no uncertain terms that they either did the test today or she would demand to go elsewhere. We had travelled for an hour to get there and after nearly 4 weeks since the intial appointment our patience was wearing thin. I think that equipment should always be checked prior to use (it certainly is in my department).

Anything else?

If I was rating the hospital on the staff alone I would recommend it. However, although some aspects were beyond the control of the staff (i.e broken equipment) my mother felt left out on a limb not knowing when she would need to return for another biopsy. She doesn't drive and relies on me for transport and as a nurse working 12 and half hr shifts short notice is not an option really. I would also hope that someone was held accountable for the machine not being checked thoroughly before it was used. I

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Response from York Hospital

Thank you for your posting. We do take comments made very seriously and we would like the opportunity to investigate the particular concerns you have raised. Please contact our Patient Experience Team on 01904 725137 or e.mail patientexperienceteam@york.nhs.uk and we will investigate your concerns fully and report our findings back to you.

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