"Communication and efficiency leave a lot to be..."

About: Southmead Hospital

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Not for the first time I find myself incredibly frustrated by the inefficiency and poor communication coming from Southmead Urology.

On a previous occasion after chasing up a referal I was given an appointment that turned out to be for a person with the same name but with a different address and a different cancer. After 3 hours waiting a secretary managed to sort something out. Incomplete notes had been faxed over from my GP and I had to go through all of my history with the consultant.

This time I had an urgent referal for bladder biopsies from GP Care and was told that I would be seen within 2 weeks. Being in constant pain this was near enough to keep me going.

Following an enquiry from my Oncologist a specialist nurse telephoned my wife to say that Southmead have no record of my referal. (Not the first time this has happened!). GP Care had a record of receipt of the referal. After some considerable time on the phone my wife finally established that the referal was with a consultant for assessment and we should hear something next week because we shouldn't have been told that it was a two week response time.

Whether or which, as I mentioned, this is another time when we have had to chase up referals or appointments. The responses have been variable to say the least. It does seem that you have to go around everyone until you get someone who knows what the system is and how to use it before you get a reasonable outcome.

In future I will be requesting referals to the BRI. At least Oncology there know what they're doing and respond to patients with care and concern in a timely way.

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Responses

Response from Southmead Hospital

Dear Anonymous – I apologise for not being able to respond to your comments until now; unfortunately we were experiencing some technical problems.

I regret that your experience of the urology service was so poor and that this impacted on your care. Without specific details I cannot comment directly on your situation, but I regret that the communication and administration elements of the service have failed you. Clearly this is something which the service needs to be aware of to ensure whatever the circumstances were that impacted on your care are not repeated for other patients, and so I have passed on your feedback to the managers concerned. If you would like me to arrange for the detail to be investigated please provide your details via complaints@nbt.nhs.uk and I will be happy to help.

Kind regards – Steve Sykes

Advice and Complaints Team

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