"Visits to the fracture clinic at QE hospital, Birmingham"

About: Queen Elizabeth Hospital / General medicine

(as a relative),

My husband fractured his wrist while on a ski trip. On his return, we immediately were referred to the fracture clinic, so that he could gain ongoing care while his wrist healed. This involved visiting the clinic each Monday morning in March.

First off, the facility is excellent, in that we could do "on-screen check-ins" and navigating to the areas that we needed to be in was very easy. The medical staff were excellent and conducted themselves professionally - particularly when having to deal with so many frustrated patients.

However, I think it would be worth giving you some feedback on the service that we received once checked in.

- At each visit, there was a 1 hour delay, without fail communicated on a white board. Our minimum visit, was 2 hours long. This involved around 5-10 minutes of one-on-one time with a doctor or nurse.

- On our first visit, protocols of waiting in one room before moving to the next waiting room were not explained, so we were completely confused as to where we were going and what we needed to do. Any time we asked questions of the reception staff, we were met with apparent disdain (not, might I add by the doctors and nurses, who were all extremely professional)

-The reception staff were extremely slow, at one point they were passing around chocolates, while we were waiting to be seen. If they weren't "customer" facing, this wouldn't cause such an issue, but when waiting times are stretched to the limit - the impression this gives to patients and their families is not favourable.

- The transfer of waiting room to waiting room adds to the frustration when you have already waited for an unreasonably long period (on one visit we were transferred to waiting rooms 6 times)

- Our X-rays were lost - these were obtained in France and were our property, but in order to put them onto your systems, they needed to go to Radiography. No one could tell us how to get them back. We were pretty much told that they were lost to us

- Each time, we saw a different doctor which I guess is understandable in such a big facility. However, on each visit, we were left to explain the details of the incident, the injury and the last doctors instructions. On at least two occasions we were given conflicting information. (One of these occasions was on the same visit).

- On the longest visit (which was over 3 hours), it was clear that help was needed at the clinic and extra doctors were being drafted in. One such doctor, we saw. He seemed absolutely shattered. We had to re-explain our situation time and time again which he got wrong when repeating back to us. Luckily the plaster technician picked up on some infection issues and we were seen by another doctor who seemed a little more awake.

- We have had to take time off work to attend these appointments - but due to waiting times, we have had to extend that time off. In addition, we are having to pay for expensive car parks. My guess is that we are not the only people in this position.

My purpose here is not to lay blame at any individual or organisations door rather it is to provide feedback on how certain areas of the service could be improved. I hope that you find it useful and can use some of the information provided to learn lessons in delivering the best in care.

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Responses

Response from University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback on your experience at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.

We welcome all feedback and would like to assure you that all comments are taken seriously and acted upon as part of our ongoing commitment to improving patient experience.

Your comments have been forwarded to the senior staff responsible for the area you visited, they are grateful for the opportunity this gives them to improve their service.

Their response and details of any actions they are taking will be posted in due course, in the meantime if you would like to discuss your experience in more detail please contact our Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS).

You can contact PALS by phone 0121 371 3280, by email PALS@uhb.nhs.uk, via the hospital website http://www.uhb.nhs.uk/pals-form.htm or in person by dropping in between 9am – 4.30pm (Mon-Fri) to the PALS office located to the left of the Information Desk in the main entrance of the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.

Thank you again for taking the trouble to post your comments on the Patient Opinion website.