"Confusing and lacking in any dignity"

About: The Great Western Hospital

What I liked

My 82 year old Mother was referred to cardiology outpatients. We are not sure if this was via her GP or via the eye department.

She received a date for her outpatient appt which was for the day before she was due to have an echocardiogram. She queried this and was told that it was incorrect, she needed to see the doctor after the echocardiogram not the day before and so a new appointment was made.

A week before either appointment she was phoned by a lady from the hospital who asked to speak to Joan. This person had never met my Mother yet used her first name! I really do not think this is appropriate and in fact it is quite rude. The phone call was to cancel the appointment to see the doctor and they said they would send her a new one.

A couple of days later she received another call again asking to speak to Joan, reinstating her original appointment. She has since received a letter for a third appointment! If anyone reading this is confused, imagine how she felt.

What could be improved

Does anyone really think it is polite to ring an 82 year old lady that they have never met and call her by her first name? Is this how staff are trained at the Great Western Hospital?

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from The Great Western Hospital

Many thanks for your feedback and I'm sorry that you feel your Mother did not have a positive experience at Great Western Hospital. It is not our policy to call patients by their first name unless they specifically request it. Our Outpatients Manager is keen to talk to you or your Mother about her experience and look into the cancellation of appointments. If you contact comms@gwh.nhs.uk, we will be able to pass your contact details onto him.

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