"Clean and modern with friendly dental staff"

About: Leeds Dental Hospital

What I liked

The dentist whom I saw plus the dental nurses, dental students and radiographers were all very pleasant and helpful. I understand that the dental hospital has recently undergone a major refurbishment and the result is modern, clean, bright and airy - unlike many of the hospitals I've visited in the past.

What could be improved

Whilst the dental staff were excellent, the service and attitude of the reception/admin staff leaves a lot to be desired. This was my first visit to the dental hospital and upon arrival, I reported to the reception desk as stated in the letter.

When I arrived at the main reception, there was a gentleman in front of me who was talking to the receptionist. The receptionist saw me arrive but yet after dealing with the chap in front of me, instead of asking whether I needed any help, she simply cleared off into the back office and wasn't seen again until I rang the bell on the desk. When she did reappear, her attitude was appalling and she behaved as though I had somehow inconvenienced her by ringing the bell (which I would not have had to do if she'd have done her job properly in the first place)!

Following my appointment in the restorative dentistry clinic, I was told about the treatment that I would need and informed that they would write to my own dentist for him to carry out the treatment. I was then given a form to hand back to reception on my way out. When I walked back into the reception area of the clinic, it was lunchtime and so the reception staff had pulled the metal shutter down and were going to lunch - even though there were still patients waiting to be seen in the clinic. There was nowhere for me to leave the form and so upon walking up to the reception window, I discovered that the shutter had not been pulled down fully and there was a gap of about three inches at the bottom. When I looked through this gap, there were three reception staff in there laughing and joking, so I decided to shove the form through the gap. Several other patients did this too.

If there were patients still waiting to be seen in the clinic, why did all of the receptionists think it was acceptable to go to lunch at the same time? Have they never heard of staggered lunch breaks?!!

Anything else?

As stated, the dental staff were excellent. It's just a shame that the attitude and service provided by the admin staff was poor and this reflects badly on the dental hospital. Some customer service training would not go amiss.

The other thing that puzzled me was when I had to have xrays taken. Following the xrays, I had to wait nearly half an hour for the films to be developed so that I could take them back to the clinic with me for the dentist to see. If the dental hospital has had such a major refit, why on earth haven't they invested in a digital imaging/PACS system ? This would mean more efficiency, less waiting around and possibly greater capacity in the clinics for seeing patients.

Story from NHS Choices

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