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"Long waits in rheumatology clinics in Exeter and Tiverton"

About: Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford) / Rheumatology Tiverton & District Hospital

(as the patient),

I am a rheumatoid arthritis sufferer and have regular follow-ups in hospital outpatient departments.

At my last outpatient follow-up at RD&E Hospital (Wonford) in Exeter, I had to wait 2.5 hours to be seen. The patients for afternoon clinic were arriving before I was seen, the consultant seemed in a hurry and so my appointment felt very rushed and I didn't even discuss any problems I may have been having as I was so fed up with waiting so long (and the car parking ticket had run out).

As my previous follow-ups had been at Tiverton Hospital and I hadn't had to wait too long there, I asked for my next review to be held in Tiverton, which was today.

Unfortunately, the wait was nearly as bad. I arrived promptly on time for my 10.30am appointment, to be told that there would be at least an hour's wait. As I was working not too far away, I decided to go away and come back again later.

In the end I wasn't seen until 12 o'clock. The consultant decided I should have some x-rays, but unfortunately the radiographer had gone and so I was unable to get the x-rays done. It was suggested I come back at 3.30pm the same day to get these done. As I had already walked to the hospital twice that day, I said I would prefer them on a different day, so now have to go again on Monday for the x-rays.

What a waste of time all this has been. Surely if the outpatient clinics are consistently running late, why don't they allow a longer appointment slot for each patient and synchronize the x-ray department with the outpatient clinics so that they both end at the same time? It all seems so mis-managed.

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