"Slow, limited information, disorganized and..."

About: Southport & Formby District General Hospital

What I liked

The Senior Registrar seemed nice.

What could be improved

My father recently had an appointment in the Orthopedics clinic. I accompanied him as he has very limited mobility and requires a wheelchair to move about within the hospital. The entire experience was unpleasant, annoying and frustrating.

1. The parking was hopeless. I had to drop off my father because it was too far to expect him to walk from the car parks, so he had to walk the gauntlet through people smoking right by the entrance to outpatients and then wait for me to wait on parking.

2. After arriving in the clinic, the staff "forgot" he had to have an x-ray until he had (painfully and slowly) shifted into a chair. Then they remembered and he had to move all over again.

3. We had to wait almost an hour in X-ray. This would have been annoying enough but for the entire time, we could see staff (5 or 6 at a time) standing around chatting, leaning against walls and doing nothing. No one came out to explain the delay. No one apologized. We were clearly not a priority. To make matters worse, with my father's condition, he finds it difficult and painful to sit in a wheelchair for an hour so by the end of the ordeal he was in some considerable pain. Not that anyone cared.

4. And then back to the clinic to wait. Again.

5. Over 2 hours since we arrived, we finally saw the consultant. That bit was OK.

6. My father needed a considerable prescription. The pharmacist sighed a bit, told us "at least 30 minutes" so rather than put my dad through more pain, I drove him home then drove back, and returned to the pharmacy to find that while they had prepared 1 week's worth of a month long prescription: they were not intending to do the rest because of "policy". Given that my father hasn't another appointment with the consultant for 2 weeks, and the consultant prescribed 4 weeks, their reasoning that "his prescription might change" was wilfully inane and after I argued the point, they agreed to give me 2 weeks worth.

Anything else?

While we were waiting in X-ray, a nurse from A&E brought in an elderly lady on a trolley. She was clearly in some distress and rather confused yet they just dumped her there alone. As the X-ray people were too busy chatting/leaning against walls/doing nothing she began to get distressed and I had to move in and help her, calm her down and rearrange her blankets and her hiked up skirts so she wasn't showing herself to all and sundry. There were all sorts of posters about dignity on the walls, but this lady was shown none at all.

Story from NHS Choices

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