"Poor first impression of Lister after waiting 15..."

About: Lister Hospital

What could be improved

There does not appear to be an option anywhere on the site to comment on telephone access or 'contacting Lister Hospital'. This is a very important part of the service when your main purpose is dealing with the sick and their relatives.

After receiving a message from a family member to say that my mother in law had been taken in to hospital with heart problems, I immediately tried to telephone the hospital to enquire about her condition. I waited 8 minutes for an operator to answer the phone. When she did so she rudlely interrupted me before I could complete my first sentence saying 'sorry, just a minute...' and then put me back on hold. I then waited another 7 minutes before someone answered my call.

In my view this is an appalling length of time to wait to get through to a hospital. Clearly this service is either under-staffed or not managed effectively or efficiently. What does not appear to be taken into account here is that many people who are phoning the hospital are phoning in an anxious or distressed state about their loved ones. This is no time to be kept waiting for a response. If this were a business it would not survive long. But then, it is supposed to be a care provider with people not commodities at its heart. You may feel that in the bigger scheme of things a 15 minute wait to get through on the phone is a trivial matter. I beg to differ for reasons already outlined. Management should pay attention to properly resourcing all its services and properly training its staff in every functional area of organisation. Point is, my first experience of Lister hospital, before I even set foot in the place, is poor. Not a good first impression. It makes me worry about the other more important services...

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Responses

Response from Lister Hospital

Thank you for your feedback and it may surprise you to learn that we agree abolsutely that the service provided on the day was not satisfactory. We've just talked to our switchboard team and one of their core objectives is to ensure that all calls are answered and dealt with both promptly and courteously.

From our own experience, this is the service provided normally but that clearly did not happen in your case. There could have been many reasons why this happened - from unexpected staff absences through to an incident ocurring at the same time you happened to phone. These are not excuses, however, and your feedback will be shared with the team.

In the meantime, we hope that your mother-in-law is now feeling better and is either on the mend, or getting the treatment she needs here at the Lister.

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