"Very poor, very disrespectful and discourteous."

About: Hexham General Hospital

What I liked

The lovely lady who greeted me at the door on my arrival, showed me to the reception desk and told me who the doctor was I would see. Would that all hospital staff had met her high standards.

What could be improved

I propose that in the next training session for out-patient clinic staff, attention should be given to providing information to patients about waiting times, and delays caused by doctors failing to attend their clinics, at the earliest possible time. I propose also staff should be trained not to discuss how chaotic their systems are in earshot of patients unless and until they have informed patients. I propose that where doctors absent themselves from appointments, patients should be told of this the moment they arrive at reception. I propose that this website list Ophthalmology in its list of treatment specialisms. I propose that since many if not most of the patients concerned are older they be treated with respect. I offer myself as a resource to help train the staff concerned in these basic procedures. A hospital should offer higher service standards than a budget airline.

I have read your moderation rules: I suggest you adopt the standards of decency and civility you impose on others.

Anything else?

I had an out-patient/clinic appointment for 1405 on Friday 6th January 2012, in ophthalmology. I arrived 10 minutes early. The reception desk checked my name, handed me a pager and told me to wait. No other information about waiting times, possible delays, or the reasons for them was offered. At 1415 a nurse invited me by name to take a very simple eye test; "when next you're called", she said, "it will be to see the doctor".

At 1435 she called me, and invited me to sit in a small waiting room with 6 others. There was no doctor. She offered no apology for the delay; she offered no reason for it. All of us in the room, however, could hear her from time to time discussing with a colleague the problems she was having because "a doctor hadn't turned up". At 1505, I asked he if she knew when I'd be seen, or why my appointment had not been kept by the hospital. She confirmed a doctor had failed to turn up, that I would have to wait even longer and that there were severe delays and a backlog because of the absence of a doctor. I left, and declined the offer of "another appointment" since I doubt the ability of the hospital ever to keep to its side of the appointments contract.

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Responses

Response from Hexham General Hospital

Thank you for your comments posted on this website. The Trust is sorry to hear of your experiences at Hexham General Hospital and apologise for failing to meet the standards expected.

The Ophthalmology service is operated by the Newcastle Hospitals Trust and is housed at Hexham General Hospital. We have informed the outpatients department of your concerns and will pass on your comments to Newcastle.

However, if you would like to write to the Newcastle Trust for a formal response their address is:

Patient Services

Royal Victoria Infirmary

Newcastle upon Tyne

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