"my mother-in-law's care at Musgrove Park"

About: Musgrove Park Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as a relative),

This week I took my mother-in-law who is in her early eighties to Musgrove Park Hospital for an outpatients appointment at the fracture clinic. She broke her shoulder in a fall the previous week.

Having deposited her in a wheelchair outside the Duchess Building - fortunately it was not raining - I went to park my car. The ticket read 10. 11 so we were in good time for her 10. 25 appointment. On reaching the waiting area moments later to register our arrival we were told to wait in what I felt to be a rather rude/abrupt manner whilst the receptionist continued with a piece of work. There was no mention of any delay but as I looked around I spotted a scribble on a whiteboard suggesting that for the consultant we were due to see appointments were running some 40 minutes late. This was later amended to 60 minutes and then 75 minutes. When I enquired how much longer we might be expected to wait, I was told that she would be called next, as indeed she was - only to be told that she needed further x-rays!

I returned to move my car just in time to avoid incurring the third hour in the car park which would have ratcheted up the fee to well over £5. 00. I drove back in again taking another ticket thereby incurring only a further hour at £1. 30 and saving myself over £1. 00.

I would love to know why her notes were not read beforehand so that the receptionist could have referred her for x-ray whilst we were experiencing the 75 minute delay. I can certainly see where changes could be made which would benefit everyone and cut costs.

Why too should patients be penalised financially with very high parking charges when the delay is quite out of their control? In my experience, most car parks reduce the rate the longer you stay, not increase it. Whose coffers are being lined?

The actual treatment my mother-in-law received was first class.

Unfortunately, this is not my first experience of appalling delay and time wasted. I also had the misfortune to break my shoulder in June and have had to attend for appointments at the same clinic in the same hospital. On both occasions I experienced long delays and paid dearly in excessive car parking fees. This was not the case on the one occasion I was able to attend at the excellent new hospital in Minehead. Goodness knows how many of us have had to drag friends and loved ones all the way to Taunton at great expense and inconvenience.

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Responses

Response from Lucy Nicholls, Development Officer, Somerset LINk

Hello,

This story was submitted from a Somerset resident. As the independent patient organisation for Somerset, the Somerset Local Involvement Network (LINk) gathers stories from patients and carers across Somerset. Where we can, we post some of these stories on Patient Opinion to give local services an opportunity to respond to patients, improve their services and share good practice.

This patient asked us to share her story in the hope that her story would help improve awareness of the problems that she encountered.

We do thank this patient for sharing her story with us. All stories that we receive help us to get a picture of how health services in the county are working, and it helps us to hold those services to account.

Best wishes,

LUCY

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Response from Martine Price, Head of Patient Experience, Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback, I am sorry that you and your mother-in-law had such a poor experience.

Your feedback about delays has been given to the fracture clinic.

We would be very happy if you wanted to contact us to discuss your concerns in more detail, our PALs team can be contacted on 01823 343536

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