"A lengthy visit to the fracture clinic"

About: Stoke Mandeville Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as the patient),

Yesterday my husband had an appointment at outpatients. Before his visit he had been given instructions where to go to check in which mentioned both accident and emergency and outpatients so he went to the accident and emergency check in.

There was one person being served by a receptionist who kept asking her colleague for help with her computer terminal. My husband queued behind this person for more than ten minutes and by the time she had finished there were at least four other parties in the queue behind him. As the patient in front moved away freeing up the receptionist for the next patient the member of staff who had been standing and occasionally helping the receptionist sat down at another terminal and asked who was next.

My husband explained why he was there and was told he should be at Out Patients not A&E. OP sent him to the clinic and the clinic immediately gave him a sheet of paper to present to the X-ray department. He was told to follow the grey arrows to the X-Ray department.

Having followed the grey arrows along a series of corridors and right and left turns, they finally came to an end in the middle of nowhere. My husband asked a member of staff where he was supposed to go. After saying that she was still struggling to find her way around she asked if he wanted A&E X-Ray or OP X-Ray, she pointed him back into an office which turned out to be the back office for the A&E department. He was then directed through double doors which took him back into the A&E reception.

After finding his way back to clinic 5 he was then given better directions to the X-ray department by a different member of staff. After two waits in X-Ray (a second attempt at the X-Ray was required) and then a further wait back in the clinic he finally saw the surgeon who wanted to arrange a further appointment and a scan but couldn't because it was now after five and the office was shut.

He also wanted my husband to have a new cast put on and this was only possible because they managed to catch the person before he left for the day because he also was supposed to have finished at five.

The man doing the cast asked what time my husband's appointment was and when he was told it was at 3:40 asked why it had taken more than an hour and a half for him to get to the plaster room. When my husband explained his experience the man gave a resigned shrug.

The whole experience was quite depressing; the people working there seemed defeated and demoralised and the hospital looked run down and disorganised. The entire process for one simple follow up fracture clinic appointment took about two hours.

No one would want to recommend this hospital to others after such an experience.

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Response from Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear Tricia,

We are really sorry to read about your husband's experience at Stoke Mandeville hospital but thank you for taking the time to comment.

If you haven't done so already, please can you contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) so that we can discuss the matter in more detail and take any action required. PALS are contactable on 01296 316042 or pals@buckshealthcare.nhs.uk

Kind regards

Update posted by Tricia1652 (the patient)

Will do but the saga goes on.

We are now not able to get his scan done in time for his next appointment so will have to pay for a private one.

Response from Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear Tricia,

We're so sorry that this is ongoing. If you can give as much detail to our PALS team as you can about your experience, not only can they advise about what steps you can take next, but you can help us to identify the key areas where we need to make changes to ensure this experience isn't repeated.

Kind regards

Updates, changes and questions related to this story