"On Wednesday 13th June, I attended ..."

About: Maidstone District General Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

On Wednesday 13th June, I attended the A&E Dept with my wife who had the misfortune to break her arm. We were most impressed with the attention we received from all concerned and most appreciative of the phone call next morning on behalf of the Doctor asking about my wife’s condition. She also inquired if my wife and I (we are both 80) could manage our daily activities.

What could be improved

Having spent more than thirty years in management in industry, where the priority is on customer satisfaction, it is quite clear that there is considerable room for improvement in the administration and organisation of activities in the NHS. For example, our last appointment was at 1420 hours in Clinic 4 on Friday 29th June. At our visit the previous week, we were told that it would be necessary for an Xray to be taken before seeing the Doctor at our next appointment. To avoid undue delay, we arrived at Clinic 4 at 1340 hours expecting to be able to go straight to the Xray department. We were told by the receptionist that we would have to wait until a nurse arrived. I approached the nurse on her arrival only to be told we would have to wait for the Doctor to sign the Xray request form. At 1410 hours I again contacted the nurse who informed me that reception had not passed over my wife’s file. After a further 10 minutes wait (the time of our appointment) the form was signed by the Doctor and we were directed to the Xray department. Why could not the Doctor sign the form during or immediately after our appointment the previous week so that we could be given it by reception when we arrived the following week and go straight to Xray? In the industry in which I worked, this situation would be considered quite unacceptable. While I do not wish to accuse the hospital of being overstaffed it is quite clear that there is greater need for the existing staff to be better organised. An efficient industrial operation could not survive with a similar staff situation that is apparent in the NHS.

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