"Really sad signs of decay and poor management"

What I liked

Clinical staff were competent, pleasant and thoughtful despite being - by my assessment - overworked

What could be improved

The clinic that I attended was overbooked, so that late running was inevitable. The clinic routinely runs until 6 - 630pm, when it should be finished by 5.30pm. I was told by staff that ' we have given up complaining about it - there is nothing that we can do.'

The waiting area is grim; signposting (especially important for the deaf) is poor, and in at least one case, frankly misleading; queuing systems - each > 10 people long when I arrived - are inappropriate - and hard for the less able or elderly to cope with, I'd have thought - and the late running of the clinic means that, by the time the last patients emerge from the clinic itself, all reception/support staff have left. Note-tracing systems are inadequate; as are arrangements to ensure that follow up appointments actually happen as intended, and without any input from the patient to chivvy the system along.

I was hugely disappointed to see the NHS caring for patients so badly - and in a hospital which, when I first visited it as a patient 10 years ago, was quite one of the most impressive I had ever been in. None of this should be a problem, and all of it, with a little thought and effort (which is what is needed, rather than money) is easily remediable.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Royal National Throat, Nose & Ear Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback on your visit. Your comments have been passed on to the relevant department and will be used to improve our services in future. We apologise that you experienced delays at the clinic. Some patients do require longer than others in their consultations and we would never, as a consequence of this, turn patients away. Staff are committed to staying until the last patient has been seen in the clinic. We are in the process of looking at alternative queuing systems and we are also investigating how our signage could be improved in future.