"Poor communication and booking serivce"

About: Trafford General Hospital

What I liked

I needed a routine operation on my foot. The initial referral came through rather quickly (although I was surprised I was not given an option of my nearest hospital). I attended the pre-o and arranged child care and work around the given date for the operation. This appointment was cancelled and re-arranged with 1 weeks notice. I re-arranged work and child care all over again. This happened again twice.

The third time I got the kids up at 5am drove 25 miles to get to the ward for 7am to be told it had been cancelled again. I was forced to re-arrange work and childcare all over again. I contacted patient liaison and they said they would sort it for me. I didn't here from them until I received a date of the 5th September. I contacted patient liaison again to ask if this as the appointment they had made on my behalf. They said no but if I was happy they would put a note on to say the appointment must not be moved. I arrived on the 5th at 7am as requested and told that it would be lunch time when I would get seen. I had last eaten at 10pm the previous night and last drank at 5.45am that day it was 3.45pm when I finally went to the theatre. The anaethatists were both excellent and really put me at ease. I arrived back on the ward at 5pm and it was 8pm when I was discharged being told that they could not make me an outpatients appointment as it was too late and one would come by post. They were very short staffed that day on the wards. My appointment for out-patience came for 4 days after my sick note expires. When I called to say I needed the all clear to go back to work on the 19th I was told the clinic for the 15th was full but they would see what they could do. I would rate the time scale, appointment cancellations and booking and staffing levels very unacceptable. Also how am I to get to my out patience appointment when my husband works full time, I have 2 young children and cannot drive?

What could be improved

The NHS could have made my hospital the one less than a mile from my home instead of 25 miles away

The booking team could communicate with the wards and consultants secretary better

Staffing levels needed increasing

more transparency about length of time I would have to wait which would have allowed me to at least have a drink of water instead of dehydrating for 9 hours.

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Responses

Response from Trafford General Hospital

Thank you for posting your comments about the experience you had at the Orthopaedic Department at Trafford General Hospital, we are sorry to read of the problems that you have noted. We actively encourage patients to tell us about their experiences, good or bad and give us suggestions on what can be improved; this helps us to ensure we offer the best possible service that we can.

When GP’s decide that their patients need a referral to hospital for treatment, it is usual practice for a discussion to take place regarding which hospital the patient prefers. Patients usually make their choices based on factors including the distance they would have to travel and how long they are likely to be waiting for their treatment. Some patients simply prefer their choice of hospital because they know it as their local hospital. If the treatment is available at that hospital then there is no reason for the GP to suggest otherwise.

We can only apologise for your cancelled operation dates, we understand the amount of preparation patients need to undertake before attending for an operation, but unfortunately it is sometimes necessary to cancel operations, for reasons such as urgent cases which can not be planned for. We do however take into account those patients whose operations are cancelled previously and endeavour to avoid any further cancellations.

From what you have written we can see that communication between hospital departments and yourself should have been much better, and we would like to learn from your experience. If you would like to contact our Patient Experience Team for more personalised feedback, please do not hesitate to do so, as we would be happy to help. We can be contacted on the telephone number 0161 746 2019.

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