"A dispiriting game of hunt the doctor"

About: Cheltenham General Hospital

What I liked

The nurses seemed kind.

What could be improved

My elderly mother was taken in as an emergency. A week later, I am still trying to find a medical member of staff who can tell me what's going on. The doctors are as elusive as dodgy builders after the fact.

I notice that elsewhere on this site, the management has replied that the hospital has a high rating on certain measures. What they fail to say is that ratings are awarded according to procedural guidelines - not actual delivery of the procedures. This is very apparent when you ask to speak to someone in charge. 'Who would you like?' I was asked. 'A nurse or a doctor?' This displays an awareness of the importance of communication. However, my experience suggests that this is little more than a tactic, designed to lull you into an innaccurate perception of co-operation. The only doctor I have seen to date was a foundation year student - whose main role is taking blood and putting in oxygen lines.

Anything else?

I was thinking of buying a house in Gloucestershire. My mother's experience has persuaded me that Cheltenham hospital is the last place I want to go when I become ill. I'm moving back to Hampshire where the Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester gets a far higher satisfaction rating.

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