"Extremely unorganised dermatology department"

About: University College Hospital

Anything else?

The staff in your dermatology department have absolutely no idea what they're doing. Went in for an initial consultation with the doctor who referred me for a blood test and said that if my bloods were fine the prescription could be picked up, they called a week later to advise that the bloods were normal and the prescription was at the reception ready for collection. So, went in the next day to collect the prescription (which is only valid for the hospital pharmacy, not any chemist/dispensary) the receptionist wandered off for 10 mins to find the prescription, in their absence, i noticed my name on a prescription at the top of a pile in a tray. When they returned saying "I'm sorry, you'll have to come back later as we can't find it" I asked them to check the tray "Oh yeah, there it is" as they handed it to me. Surely receptionists should know where prescriptions ready to collect are kept? So went down back into the main building to collect the prescription only to be told that they would not issue the drug as the doctor had not stamped the form to confirm I wasn't pregnant. Walked all the way back to dermatology and explained the problem to be told once again that I would have to come back tomorrow because my doctor was working the wards due to doctor shortage that day. (Do they actually think that patients have nothing better to do with their weekdays than keep chasing doctors and medical receptionists for care?) At this point due to frustration and exhaustion, I burst into tears. I have suffered with acne for 13 years and to finally be referred to a dermatologist after being told "You'll grow out of it" by my GP, and now being left with facial scarring, I actually thought there was a light at the end of the tunnel. I begged the nurse to find another doctor who could just go onto my file and check my bloods and issue the stamp! They went off and it was completed within 2 minutes.. why do patients have to tell you how to do your job? Oh right because it's easier just to tell them to come back tomorrow. Roughly halfway through my first month of the medictation I realised that the drug would finish 9 days before my next follow up appointment. I had to call reception 8 times, and left 2 messages before finally reaching somebody who told me they'd email the doctor and get back to me. Left it 2 more days before calling again... still nothing. Left it another 2 days (by this time had run out) and was told to come in for a bloodtest and once that was confirmed the prescription would be issued the very next day. Went for my bloods and then called 15 times before finally reaching someone (answerphone Mailbox full all day) who answered the phone 'dermatology' and then when i explained why i was calling diverted me to 'outpatients'... no idea why. They took my name and number and told me they'd contact the doctor to ask where the prescription would be... no call back yet but i'll bet it's sitting in the tray that is invisible to receptionists

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Response from University College Hospital

We are sorry that you have had a less than satisfactory experience when engaging with the Outpatient Dermatology Service and for the distress this has caused you. Your comments have been passed onto the relevant managers so that we can use your experience and that of other patients to improve the service we offer. If you need any immediate assistance with your prescription or would like us to investigate your concerns further then please contact our PALS department in the first instance at PALS@uclh.nhs.uk. Thank you for your feedback.

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