"out patient appointment 26/11/13"

About: Charing Cross Hospital

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We have never been here before, no arrows to point us in the right direction. We were encouraged to use check in machines - but no explanation why? We got there just in time, but then found out we had to wait about 45 minutes as we were a new patient. When the consultation came - there was no real understanding of my disabilities, the consent letter was not in an accessible format. I had no understanding of what was happening. Ok the consultant seemed to flip when he heard speech impairments and learning disabilities/difficulties - but what about me? No explanation why my mum could not stay with me as I have never had an operation before. Having someone over us when we used the machines was not very helpful and put me off. Then we had to wait to book my next appointment. Surely there should be easy read documents for people to read - who may not have English as their 1st language or have disabilities. What about a book with pictures to show people who have disabilities or don't have English as their first language? If you want people to use a machine of check in, why not put it in the appointment letter so everyone can understand on how to use it and expects it. Think about where people live when booking appointments. Can the doctors or nurse explain things like how long the operation is going to be, the procedure, etc. in easy to understand language - they are used to talking about these things, but the man in the street/lay person is not. If you want to discuss the operation and what is likely to happen, then use simple language so everyone can understand.

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Response from Charing Cross Hospital

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust welcomes your feedback. We are very sorry that you felt your needs were not met when you attended your out patient appointment at Charing Cross and we really appreciate your comments. These have been passed to senior managers in both Neuroscienses and Out Patients. The Trust is trialing the use of self check in kiosks in our Out Patient Clinics at the moment and so we appreciate the feedback. A pre assessment appointment prior to surgery usually provides the opportunity for questions to be addressed and arrangements to be made to ensure we are aware of and can meet any particular needs a patient may have on admission. With regard to ensuring that we meet the needs of patients with learning disabilities/difficulties we work closely with our colleagues in local learning disability teams and have just appointed a nurse to help us to deliver better care for people with a learning disability. We have a post holder starting on January 1st. Thank you for contacting our PALS Team, we hope that we can work with you to ensure we provide the care and support you need when you return to Charing Cross.

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