"The process is wasteful and needs improving"

About: Heavitree Hospital / General medicine

(as the patient),

I have routine treatment at Heavitree Hospital for the past 3 years. In all the time I have normally seen the same consultant who works part time. This has meant I often get an automated appointment letter through the post with 1, 2, 3 or 4 follow up letters rearranging the appointment (as their calendar doesn't match). One time I had so many letters I responded to the wrong one (turning up on the wrong day), missing my appointment and was automatically marked as DNA and removed from the consultants list meaning I had to go back to my GP to get re-referred. I have now gone to the extremes of phoning the consultants secretary a week ahead of every appointment to check there are no known changes.

For my last 3 or 4 appointments I have had random consultants (not that I mind) as long as my treatment is carried out. However they have now also started introducing students into the consultants room - (again I don't mind). However at my last appointment they were running 20 minutes late. When I was called in, I was asked if I minded having a student, which I didn't. My grievance comes when they then spend an extra 20 minutes explaining to the student the process, treatment etc and the doctor hadn't even read my notes - meaning a further 20 minute delay totalling 1 hour for a 5 minute treatment.

Seriously this seems ridiculously sloppy. If it is a routine appointment, I doubt they were called to an emergency which caused the delay and I understand we need to train future generations but simple things like single appointment letters made with the consultant's calendar on view and prereading notes should be a given. My patience is wearing ever so thin whilst I advocate (and work) for the NHS this seems just bad practice. I am a 26 year old, literate, middle class lady and get so confused over the dozens of letters. I don't know how someone with LD, an elderly patient or illiterate person would manage. No wonder there are so many missed appointments which wastes time, money and valuable treatment to those in need. Treatment is stressful enough - the process is wasteful and needs improving.

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Response from Patient Engagement & Experience Administrator, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

Dear imnoangel189

Thank you for sharing your story and I am very sorry to hear of the problems you have experienced at the RD&E. We would like the opportunity to discuss this with you further and ask if you would like to call the Patient Engagement and Experience Team on 01392 402363 or 403915.

Kind regards


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