"Getting past the receptionist is the first..."

About: Faversham Cottage Hospital

Anything else?

My first and last experience when visiting Faversham minor injuries unit went something like this........ I arrive at 8:06am and buzz to gain access. Receptionist informs me that no staff have arrived,she doesn't know where they are but she will "let them know I am there as soon as they get in". I ask, let them know what, and she replies "that you are outside waiting". I ask can I wait inside as it was freezing and I was in pain and she replied "no". I asked her if she was being serious and she replied "yes" and then hung up. Needless to say, I wouldn't go back there if I was dying and nor would I take any of my family. I had fantastic treatment for a broken bone at Estuary View in Whiststable after I had to drive myself there rather than wait in the February cold for an indefinate period of time until a member of staff arrived at Faversham.

Any person who has such disregard for the welbeing of a patient should not be working for the NHS in any capacity.

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Responses

Response from Karen Edmunds, Head of Patient Experience and Public Engagement, Engagement Team, Kent Community Health NHS Trust We are preparing to make a change

I am so sorry that you've had such a bad experience. It's certainly not how we want our staff to behave. Not all of the staff at Faversham Cottage Hospital work for KCHT, and the minor injury unit is run by South East Health. I'm trying to find out who would have been on reception at that time of the morning. Once I find out more I'll update you. But please be assured that if it was someone who works for us that spoke to you like that we'll be talking to them about this incident. Please accept our apologies on behalf of the NHS.

Best wishes

Karen

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Response from Karen Edmunds, Head of Patient Experience and Public Engagement, Engagement Team, Kent Community Health NHS Trust

Hello, I've done some further investigation and contacted the Primary Care Trust who manage the reception staff at Faversham Health Centre. The manager there has provided the following comments:

"We would not expect our receptionist (let alone anyone else) to appear to be unhelpful. We will reconfirm to our reception staff the correct way to deal with patients who arrive before the centre is open.

The health centre does not officially open until 08.30, our receptionist starts work at 08.00 to prepare ready for opening at 08.30. South East Health who run the minor injury unit are open 08.00 to 20.00, 7 days a week. From 08.00 until the [Health Centre] doors open at 08.30 the MIU receptionist manages their patients using the call bell system in place, signs are clearly displayed with opening times."

I have asked the manager at the PCT to confirm that regardless of whether the receptionist was theirs or South East Health's they should be told about your experience and be asked to reflect on the fact that this was not how someone who works for the NHS should speak to a patient.

Once again please accept our apologies. I hope that by taking your concerns seriously this will go some way to restoring your faith in the NHS.

Best wishes

Karen

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Response from Faversham Cottage Hospital

I am so sorry that you've had such a bad experience. It's certainly not how we want our staff to behave. Not all of the staff at Faversham Cottage Hospital work for Kent Community Health, and the minor injury unit is run by South East Health. I've contacted the Primary Care Trust who manage the reception staff at Faversham Health Centre. The manager there has provided the following comments: "We would not expect our receptionist (let alone anyone else) to appear to be unhelpful. We will reconfirm to our reception staff the correct way to deal with patients who arrive before the centre is open. The health centre does not officially open until 08.30, our receptionist starts work at 08.00 to prepare ready for opening at 08.30. South East Health who run the minor injury unit are open 08.00 to 20.00, 7 days a week. From 08.00 until the [Health Centre] doors open at 08.30 the MIU receptionist manages their patients using the call bell system in place, signs are clearly displayed with opening times." I have asked the manager at the PCT to confirm that regardless of whether the receptionist was theirs or South East Health's they should be told about your experience and be asked to reflect on the fact that this was not how someone who works for the NHS should speak to a patient. Once again please accept our apologies. I hope that by taking your concerns seriously this will go some way to restoring your faith in the NHS. Please do contact our Customer Care Team if you have any further comments: kcht.cct@nhs.net or phone 0300 123 1807 Karen Edmunds Head of Public and Patient Engagement Kent Community Health NHS Trust

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