"Hospital systems, signage policy terrible, staff..."
About: Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Birmingham) Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Birmingham) Birmingham B15 2TH
What I liked
I attended the Renal outpatient clinic today, for the first time in the new building. It was, to say the least, a very frustrating morning.
As always, the renal staff were wonderful, being as helpful and friendly as usual. All interaction with staff / nurses / Dr's was curtious, friendly and carried out efficiently.
What could be improved
To start with, I hadn't been sent an 'original' appointment letter, but just a 'reminder' one and when you try to scan this at the self check in it will not work if it is a reminder letter - but it dosn't state this on the letter, so you have to manually input your details on the screen, which I do not like doing as I dont like having my information displayed for anyone around me to see, especially in such open areas.
From checking in I only saw one alcohol gel pump (next to the self checkin) and that was empty. There were no others I could see in the many areas i had to wait in / pass through. This had always been a high profile thing in the renal clinics in the Old QE - what has changed with this, why are they no longer available / signs asking people to use it.
Signage for where I had to go after the self check in is very poor. The electronic display instructed me to go to Waiting area 2 Reception 2. When in actual fact the area where the renal clinic was being held and all the paitients were waiting had a large sign on the wall saying 'Waiting Area 1' and at the reception desk a computer printout stuck on the side of the desk saying 'Recption 2', which we missed when going past it the first time. The only thing that did help was the computer printout on top of the desk saying 'Renal Clinic'. When I asked the staff about it they said that they are in Area 2, but nowhere did I see Area 2 on a sign. Better signage is needed to show people where the renal clinic is.
The new system was also supposed to make things run smoother and appointments on time. This is not the case. I arrived 15 minutes early, as usual and still didn't get to see the Dr until 1 hour after my appointment time, not very surprising my blood pressure was so high by the time I was seen.
I don't believe it is the staff & Dr's at fault for the delays in clinic, but from past experience I do believe it is to do with over-booking appointments and this so-called new system does not help or make things run on time.
I have attended other clinics in the hospital and not one of them has run on time and it is very confusing with all the main waiting areas, then check in at another reception, then go to another waiting area.
I asked the staff where I could make a complaint about the signage, etc and was told to go the the PALS room on the way out. I did try to see them, but there were already 2 people waiting outside the door. The first lady had been told to 'wait 2 minutes' when she had knocked over 10 minutes previously, and the gentleman who had arrived 5 minutes after her had knocked and they had not even bothered to answer or open the door to him. So who do we complain to about the staff who are supposed to take the complaints? Needless to say I didnt waste anymore of my time waiting to see them.