"Warrington - better customer focus."

About: Warrington Hospital Warrington Hospital / Dermatology

(as a carer),

I accompanied a client to Warrington General Hospital in December 2007 - Out-patient, Dermatology dept. After checking in at reception we were directed to the waiting area. On asking at reception, they were not aware of any delays in seeing patients with appointments. I noticed that the waiting area was very full, from previous experience this usually meant that there was a backlog. I seated my client and sat down to check if any note had been posted to give advice about delays with particular doctors. I could see no advice so waited to ask a nurse - making sure to approach the nurse for the particular surgery my client was waiting for. The harassed nurse pointed out that she was very busy and they were already one hour behind with appointments. This type of situation has been evident for over two years, to my personal knowledge as a carer and patient. With this history I would suggest that, at the very least, the Outpatient Reception should be kept up to date of delays so that they can tell patients as they arrive. When a doctor looks like being more that an hour late it would be possible to ring local patients and invite them to re-book (thus avoiding frustration by the patient and reducing the backlog for the day). The above suggestions are, or course, only tinkering with the problems, not solving them. The consistent worry, however, is that in my experience the Hospital systems continue to show a lack of customer focus in their application - they may serve the needs of the internal medical system and "targets" but i wonder how do they affect the customer. I once waited half an hour for an appointment, having arrived a previous 15 minutes early at Reception, to be told my notes had been lost and to come back in six months - why wasn't I told when I arrived at Reception? Once you get to see the doctor the service is invariably good.
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Responses

Response from

Thank you for your comment. We have improved access to our services greatly over the last year and are working hard at improving our customer focus across the hospitals.

I will feedback the ideas around calling and informing patients as part of this work to see if we can implement a system like this.

In some cases, delays are caused by unexpected delays and the time required for consultations with particular patients but we do work hard to avoid long waits in the department.

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