About: Medway Maritime Hospital Medway Maritime Hospital Gillingham ME7 5NY
I had an out patient appointment cancelled recently and was contacted one hour 20 mins before the time. The person on the phone couldnt give a reason why the clinic was cancelled. I ended up in tears and was told they would put me through to the Consultants Sec. There was no answer they then tried to put me to PALS but I asked for complaints dept as PALS complaints arent recorded as formal nor a complaint - they didnt answer! Eventually they said they would speak to the out patients dept. I was then told to attend as normal.
After waiting in a long queue THe lady in front was told the clinic had been cancelled (she had her elderly 93 year old mother with her). The reception staff said they would take them to Area 3 but to "stand firm and not to take no for an answer". This suggests things like this are happening on a regular basis.
I joined them in another booking in queue and I can onlty describe the scene as chaotic. The receptionist didnt help by repeating themselves like a broken record they also spoke in broken English which was hampering things as well.
I was told to go home but "stood my ground" like the lady in front. I asked to speak to the nurse in charge to be seen by a CSW. They merely repeated the same as the receptionist , when talking a staff nurse walked past the CSW attempted to ask her for help and was shouted at in a bullying manner and tols they were busy. (busy with what we wondered as the clinic was cancelled?). We collectively asked for the Sister in chrge to be told there wasnt one -we saw one in blue uniform at the end of the long corridor facing Area 3!
We then asked for a Manager to be contacted but this only seemed to confuse the CSW, again the Staff Nurse walkeed past looked and repeated they were busy!
Most of us sat waiting to see someone and suddenly we were told a Dr had been found.
The reason for cancelling the clinic was sickness of the Consultant and the Registrar was called to an emergency in theatre. Surely theatre time is covered by Drs not committed to an out patient clinic? Also I thought Consultants were allocated theatre time for their team.
This isnt the first time my appointment has been cancelled and still no improvements have been made especially being assured that in future a reason would be given ( a simple and obvious management tool).
A friend also had their appointment cancelled later in the week for a different Consultant. How many Appointments have been cancelled this year? It seems the hospital is running in crisis and not managing to care and deliver a basic service to their patients. The comments on this site suggest this.