"Terrible"

About: Chelsea & Westminster Hospital

What I liked

The nursing staff were polite and friendly when contactable

What could be improved

- Waiting times in the clinics were appauling waiting 2 hours to be seen by one doctor for approximately 10 mins was absolutely unacceptable. Yes there may be a staff shortage however i have visited many other clinics at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital to which the waiting times were barely 45 minutes at the most. On a number of occasions i have witnessed the same few doctors stalling outside of clinic rooms and having personal non-work related conversations in the corridors further delaying patient appointment times. However it is usually the SHOs present on the clinic who are able to keep to appropriate time keeping.

- Appointment keeping, On many occasions i have had to have my appointment rearranged by the appointment team without prior indication nor checking for availabilty on a certain date. The treatment i am under requires appointments to be kept to the same or close to the same date to ensure that my medication does not stop unecessarily. and yet despite this argument i have previously had to wait anything from a week to an month and a half before i can recieve a new prescription, delaying my treatment and causing myself unecessary stress.

- On all letters and leaflets that have been given to myself telelphone numbers of who to contact are clearly shown. However when contacting these numbers I find myself bewildered to note that the telephone is never answered particualy at the nurses station and mostly unanswered at the reception desk. On three occasions i have been left waiting on the other end of a ringing phone for 15 minutes without acknowldegement. Once again this is unacceptable. What makes this more concerning is that whilst present in clinic I have watched these same phones ring without answer when staff of all levels proceed to ignore the phone and continue on discussion about the latest gossip,

-see next panel

Anything else?

- There is only one consultant who i have met who has shown any concern for my wellbeing and by far he is the best consultant to which i have met. However the other consultants present appear more concerned with ticking boxes than with discussing the situation, this is astonishing considering how long the waiting times are to be seen after reporting to the main desk.

- Another concern is that each patient is given a named consultant for the duration of their care. However i have only ever met my named consultant twice and at each visit i see a different doctor. How a doctor can be certain that the treatment is progressing well without having ever seen the symptoms presented by the patients is unknown. I feel that this is in part due the reception staff who when arranging appointments try to keep the date as close to the requested as possible by simply 'squeezing' the patient in to the next available slot.

if there is such a concern with staffing levels then simply hire more staff or decrease the intake of patients accepted. Yes not every issue is vitally important yet each issue raised is important to the patient so much so that they have agreed to be referred to a hospital environment which in itself is a very stressful environment.

This is the only department at Chelsea and Westminster where i have had any serious doubts or concens and i will be making a complaint about my care if improvements are not made soon.

My advice to future dermatology patients....go elsewhere.

Story from NHS Choices

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