"Delays & shambles"

About: Balfour Hospital / Rheumatology

(as a carer),

My wife who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, had an appointment for a tele clinic from Golden Jubilee in Sept.

We checked in at the out patient reception at Balfour Hospital Kirkwall at about 2pm for the 2. 10 appointment. We were told to take a seat and the nurse would be along to collect us.

Anyway after 1 hour wait we decided that something was wrong. My wife went back to reception and was seen by other nurses who checked on the computer and asked if she had been to X-ray.

No one had said anything about X-ray so I got organised with a wheel chair for my wife and went the long uphill walk to X-ray. There was a queue of about 4 so after about 20 mins she was taken for X-ray! When she taken out from X-ray the nurse with her said now you go to Physiotherapy and do you know where it is. At that point we were totally confused but another nurse who had just arrived said that she had been sent up to take us back to the Teleclinic room.

By now my wife was very tired but she dealt with all the questions and the measurements OK helped by the nurse in the room. The nurse from GJ apologised for the X-rays hadn't come to her screen and so she would phone my wife in the next two days. This she did.

The nurse from the clinic then took us down to the exit, and apologised for all the delays / shambles!

That's the story!

I was at the NHS Orkney annual review this pm and there was all sweetness and light, and they value feedback or complaints etc. I think nothing will happen! It didn't last time I complained either!

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Response from Derek Barron, Director of Nursing and Allied Health Professionals, NHS Orkney

Thank you for your feedback, the comments made at the annual review that we value feedback are absolutely true - I will ensure we look into this and feedback to you. I apologise that poor communication within our hospital led to this poor experience of care with us.

If you would like specific feedback to you as well as a response via Patient Opinion please let me know.

Thank you


  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful

Response from Derek Barron, Director of Nursing and Allied Health Professionals, NHS Orkney We have made a change

I'm sorry to hear that you and your wife experienced delays and difficulties when attending the Rheumatology Telemedicine Clinic and would like to apologise for any distress caused.

It has been difficult to get to the bottom of the exact circumstances you described, as I'd like to have given you a more detailed answer, we would be more than happy to do this if you wish. If you do want a specific answer may I suggest that you contact Julie Tait, Patient Experience Officer, NHS Orkney at julietait@nhs.net or 01856 888221 who would be very pleased to hear your concerns and carry out a more detailed investigation.

One particular change I'd like to share with you relates to a Patient Satisfaction Survey of our Telemedicine Clinic, that we carried out recently. Results from the survey helped us to implement some improvements regarding the clinics.

We are reviewing our clinic letter to ensure our patients are better informed before arriving at the Hospital I.e. the letter will contain clearer information including the need for investigations prior to the actual telemedicine clinic.

We have also worked with the medical records staff to ensure they are more aware of the needs of patients who arrive for the telemedicine clinic and where they should wait or be directed to.

In general patients tell us that they are happy with the Telemedicine Clinic and that they very much welcome the opportunity to have a consultation here in Orkney rather than travel off island. However the feedback from yourself and the survey highlight areas we can still improve on.

Thank you for taking the time to comment, again I apologise this is not the high standard we aim to deliver to people attending our services. As I said earlier, please contact Julie if you would like us to look into the specific issues faced by you and your wife.

Thank you


  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful

Update posted by Koala48 (a carer)

Thank you Derek for your prompt reply and for the changes which should help for the future. I do not wish to contact Julie Tait or to give more details as then it would be possible to trace who made the complaint, and that's not good. I would say it is a trust issue. Anyhow again thanks Derek and Patient Opinion for being a conduit to improvement.

Updates, changes and questions related to this story