"pleasantly surprised and irritated by lack of..."

About: Salford Royal

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I attended the hospital for a first appointment at 1740in the evening. I chose to walk from from Eccles New Road, along Stott Lane. I could have used the map supplied to help me get in, however I used to live very close to the hospital and did some Nursing Training there so I thought I knew my way in, it was also very dark! Walking up Stott Lane it was too dark to read the map, I could not see any signs and the whole area around the old out patients entrance was so badly lit that I tripped off the kerb whilst trying to find a way in. Staggering through the perpetual gloom that surrounded the hospital I eventually discovered a scrap of paper neatly stuffed into a plastic wallet directing my wife and I to A and e main entrence (as written), was the next sign to be "'ere be dragoons"? We walked on towards what looked like A&E, the ambulance was a giveaway, we looked in at an empty waiting area, staffed, but they couldn't have helped us, they looked bewildered by the empty seats. The doors slid open enticing us in, but to where, would we be helped or sent out with a sneer as they knew where they were and were warm and safe. We then spotted a sign, unfortunately it didn't give our destination but I'm sure that it was helpful as we finally crossed the threshold. We didn't kiss the ground but went straight to the nearest sign, our destination wasn't listed. Then, before us was an apparition in hospital uniform, sitting under a sign, INFORMATION, now I could have kissed the ground, however it is not recommended. I asked the gentleman to direct us, whilst I couldn't commend his style or attitude (it's on the sign over there), he did tell us where to go; by the time we arrived at, what appearsvto be some left over airport check in desks, we were just two minutes early. It was after dealing with or being dealt with that my experience of the hospital improved. Please get some more signs and improve the lighting outside on Stott Lane up especially for patients with evening appointments. My treatment by the staff now became exemplary, never have I/we been so well supported, we were directed to the wrong waiting area, both next to each other, a nurse, firstly said it's over there and then said that she'd take us to the right place and make sure that someone knew we'd arrived. The consultant came out and took my wife and I into her room. When she examined me, as I had to remove my trousers she went to get a gown to cover my modesty. I have been examined by many doctors over the last 10 years and I am quite happy to remove my trousers and sit there in mu underwear. She said it wasn't right that I should do that and insisted that I have the gown for my modesty. I was also asked if I wanted copy letters, again most consultants I've met don't like to send correspondence let alone offer it. The consultant even took me to the blood room. Thanks to the people who redeemed my experience, even so we still walked halfway round the hospital.

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Response from Salford Royal

Thank you for such a colorful description of your recent visit. In all seriousness though, I am sorry that you found it difficult to find your way around the hospital. I am slightly unclear where you actually went for your appointment. I know in your submission you advised you had visited our Neurology Services, but this covers a number of specialities who see patients across the site. I am also unclear why you would have been given a scrap of paper advising you to come to A&E Entrance. It would be useful if you could email us (PALS@srft.nhs.uk) with some further details so we can get a better idea of where you were seen. Regarding the lighting at Stott Lane, it is usually well lit, although due to building work which is drawing to a conclusion as I write, some of the lighting in the area was obscured by scaffolding etc. The main Stott Lane Entrance has been closed for 12 months now with access in that area to the Dermatology and Oral Surgery Departments, although it is possible to get into the main hospital buildings via the Dermatology Entrance. For most services, we would suggest using the new entrances within the Hope Building (accessed on foot from Eccles Old Road, or from the Central Car Park.) However, as I am not sure exactly where you were supposed to be so it is difficult to be sure where you should have come in. Finally, I was glad to read that once in clinic, you were happy with the care received. I would be happy to share this with the staff concerned and again, if you were to email PALS, we can ensure the comments reach the correct people.

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