"11.35 appointment...seen at 13.15 [100 minute..."

About: Leighton Hospital

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I attended the Surgical Clinic in Suite A, ontime, on 7/10/13 for an 11.35 appointment. During the subsequent 100 minute wait the elderly gentleman accompanying someone in a wheelchair stood up for 70 minutes of the wait. Another elderly lady anxiously asked if she had been forgotten. One hour through the period the nurse wrote on the info board that there was a 50-60min wait. It remained unchanged despite it now being 100mins. Staff were apologetic and kindly but are unable to influence the long waiting times which they said were a regular occurence. When questioned, they explained that the time allotted for each appointment is too short, either 10 or 20 mins and so the Clinic chronically overruns the apppointment times. As the afternoon Clinic was being set up around me when I went in for my appointment at 13.15 I guess the Nurse and Doctor I saw were unlikely to get any lunch. I would like the management to take a realisitic view of the actual length of appointments in this Clinic and give them more support. It is an anxious and stressful waiting period for patients who may be receiving biopsy reports in this Clinic, and for it to be100 minutes in length is unacceptable for both patients and staff.

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Response from Leighton Hospital

Thank you for posting your observations and your personal experience of your visit to our out patients department on NHS Choices. The Nurses in clinic on that day were very aware of the long wait that patients were experiencing and apologise for not keeping the information board up to date. They were very concerned that you noticed someone standing for over 70 minutes, as they were not aware of this and have promised to be more vigilant if a similar situation arises in the future. It can be difficult to allocate longer to clinic appointments when there are so many patients waiting to be seen, but I can assure you that the timings of clinic slots are reviewed regularly based on clinician availability and patient demand. Please accept my sincere apologies that your experience (and those of patients waiting with you) was not what I would expect in the out patients department. The issues you have raised have been discussed with the relevant staff. Jayne Hartley, Deputy Director of Nursing and Quality.

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