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"Confusing letter from Barnstaple"

About: North Devon District Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as a service user),

I'm getting in contact to give some feedback about a confusing letter I received from Barnstaple . It was 4 pages long and talked about receiving a video call. Whilst I was dialing the hospital to try and figure out what I needed to do, my land line and it was the doctor from the hospital who said they don't do video calls. This was confusing as the letter explicitly says “video call”.

I assumed he was phoning about an upcoming operation I needed on my right knee. I have had some Xrays for this. However, after some confusion, it transpires that he was calling to check on me after my operation for my left knee. He was calling to see how I was doing. My left knee is now very good and feels back to normal. I had the surgery during the pandemic an the service was brilliant. It was set up to help people like me who were waiting for knee operations I even had a private ambulance

What was confusing is that the paper work was so similar to last time that I thought this call would be about an upcoming operation and I was excited, thinking I was going to get the operation I needed on my right knee, but after speaking to the doctor. He told me I wasn't even on the waiting list yet.

I don’t see why the letter needed to be so confusing and 4 pages long. Could someone look at this? I am in no way criticising my care when I had my knew operation or the Doctor that called, they were truly wonderful.

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Response from Lisa Townsend, Patient Feedback Lead, Patient Experience Team, Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust last month
We have made a change
Lisa Townsend
Patient Feedback Lead, Patient Experience Team,
Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

I take patient feedback and work with all departments at Royal Devon University Hospital NHS Trust to implement service change and improve the patient experience.

Submitted on 09/04/2024 at 17:29
Published on Care Opinion on 10/04/2024 at 08:15

picture of Lisa Townsend

Dear Januarydn88

Thank you for your feedback. I am sorry to hear that there was some confusion regarding the post-surgery check-up call that you received but I am glad that between you and the clinician, it was worked out. It is lovely to hear you describe the service as brilliant. I am glad that your left knee is now back to normal and would like to thank you for the positive feedback.

With regards your feedback regarding the four page long letter that you received, I have spoken with the senior project manager for our video calling service. They acknowledge the points you have raised. I am pleased to let you know that as a result of feedback, the appointment letter has been amended and for all future video appointments the letter will provide a link to a patient information leaflet, rather than a lengthy document. This will not only improve the letter but also have a positive environmental impact and cost saving implications.

Once again, can I thank you for your feedback. It really does make a difference. I wish you well when you come in for your right knee operation.

Kind regards


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