"Poor communication between staff, lack..."

About: Addenbrooke's Hospital

What I liked

1. The hospital provided instructions on how to locate the department prior to my appointment.

2. The specialist fertility nurse who was asked to provide correct information when the Registrar had failed to do so was compassionate.

3. The complaints process was well adhered to. I promptly received an acknowledgement letter asking me to list my ideal outcome objectives, and received a substantive response more or less within the expected timeframe. The Consultant offered to see me personally which was helpful,although by the time I received the response I had already received the treatment I needed at another Trust after seeking a second opinion.

What could be improved

1. The ongoing building work meant that it was difficult to find the entrance to the Rosie Hospital despite the instructions provided.

2. The Registrar was not knowledgable about the condition I had been diagnosed with, nor its treatment or any subsequent fertility treatment funding issues. If a junior member of staff is so uncertain, under-confident and lacking in sensitivity and skills that they repeatedly have to leave the patient to discuss the issues raised with a Consultant, then it may be a good idea for them to undergo either some more training or at least spend more time shadowing other colleagues before assessing patients alone.

3. The waiting area for gynaecology (and therefore female reproductive problems) was shared with maternity patients, and the department was in the Rosie Hospital which appeared to cater so well for mums-to-be that they even had a maternity clothes shop opposite reception. Much as I am very happy for these fortunate ladies, I felt that it may be more sensitive to see patients who are experiencing the sadness of childlessness in a more neutral environment.

Anything else?

I complained to the Trust after my poor patient experience and received a thorough response. They addressed my issues and I am confident that my experience will be used as a learning opportunity for the staff member concerned.

They also explained that they are building a new IVF/fertility clinic so there is a possibility that infertile women won't have to be seen in the maternity hospital in future.

I always planned to have any potential future children at this hospital, but after my consultation I completely lost faith in the Trust. The good work of the PALS/Complaints/Patient Experiences department and the Consultant's willingness to put things right has at least partially restored my confidence in them.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Addenbrooke's Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to post your comments. We were sorry to learn of your poor experience but were pleased to note your satisfaction with the PALS team and the response to your very understandable complaint. We were of course sorry that you found it necessary to seek your treatment somewhere else but hope you will consider giving us the opportunity to provide care to you in the future should the need arise.

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