"Didn't encourage confidence"

About: Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre

Anything else?

I was given the choice between the local NHS hospital and Peninsula treatment centre but the latter could see me quicker so I chose them and waited for them to choose me (they decide whether to take your case or not). I work full time so getting time off during the week from 9-5 is very difficult and has to be made back up. The appointments have been first thing in the morning at 9am. I turn up about 10-15mins before my appointment time so the appointments can start on time, report to one reception (by the front door) to be told that it's the other reception I will need to go to (through another set of doors) but they only open their doors at 9am. First time I sat waiting outside the 2nd reception while the staff were chatting and the lights were off until 9.15am till I decided I'd just go in. I was then left waiting for my 9am appointment for another 15mins so in all my appointment only really occurred at 9.30am. I don't mind being told to attend an appointment at 9.15am or 9.30am as the first appointment of the day if the staff need the time in the morning but being offered one at 9am to then be left waiting for 30mins as staff are chatting on more than one occasion is not fair or acceptable. When I did get to talk to the surgeon about the procedure and options I felt it was rushed, he was dismissive of my anxieties, not supportive in any way and did not even explore non-surgical options or support. In fact I got the distinct impression he was rather "put out" by the fact I was even asking questions and I was therefore 'wasting' his time but for me surgery is a really big step with lots of complications. In fact in one of my appointments when I said I wanted more time to think about it, he pretty much dismissed me from his office. I was also told I'd have to re-referred if I wanted surgery later unless I decide quite quickly. I've had experience with quite a few doctors due to the nature of my condition and this was the first time I was made to feel like a number/statistic or just a procedure as opposed to a person. It doesn't make me want to trust him and by extension the Peninsula Treatment Centre with my surgical procedure or my care. I did not feel I was listened to or treated with respect as a result and that makes a huge difference when it comes to having confidence in a health professional to look after your best interests while you are so vulnerable in surgery and scared. I'm now reluctant to have the surgery. I do appreciate that doctors have the expertise and go through quite a bit to get to where they are and treatment plans like surgery are somewhat part of their daily routine but as a patient it will impact significantly on my life as a whole. I have received better support in the past from the NHS who have treated me like a person rather than this private establishment. On the positive, the place seems very clean, the staff all well presented and some staff very nice.

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Response from Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre

We apologise that this patient waited outside the outpatient department for 15 minutes while the lights were off. We have now reviewed our clinic procedures and the first patients of the day will be welcomed at their scheduled appointment time. We are sorry that this patient felt pressurised to commit to surgery when not ready to do so. Our staff are trained to guide every patient through the surgical pathway and it didn't happen satisfactorily on this occasion. Again, we are reviewing our own processes to prevent this happening. If this patient could contact us directly we would be happy to discuss the concerns raised.

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