"ataxia clinic"

About: John Radcliffe Hospital

Hello I was delighted that my dad had been referred to this specialist clinic. What disappointed us was that none of the staff introduced themselves - yet this personal touch is so important to ensuring that patients feel comfortable and welcome. Many elderly people feel that they are trouble enough and a burden so making people welcome and obviously valuing them can make a huge difference. . We are grateful for the thorough medical examination but I felt that my comments about monitoring someone with so many disabilities and who is at risk of severe side effects from new medication were brushed aside, and nor was any follow up support offered, which was I understood from your service leaflet to be one of the benefits of the service in offering 'support both during and between clinic visits via the Specialist Ataxia Nurse'. The implications of genetic testing for family members was not addressed. Please could consideration be provided to supplying better wheelchairs for those who can't bring theirs with them? Only being able to push a large and heavy wheelchair backwards is difficult. It took 3 of us to bring dad to hospital - one to drive and take the car away if there was no parking available, one to get a wheelchair for him and push it and one to bring his walker so he could demonstrate how he walks. How elderly or disabled carers manage is difficult to envisage. There was no one at Reception in the West Wing to ask for assistance.

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Response from John Radcliffe Hospital

Thank you for your very kind comments regarding your father's medical examination when he attended the Ataxia clinic. It is always nice for the Trust to hear when things go well and I am very pleased that he received the service you would expect. Your positive feedback will be passed on to the staff responsible for his care. I am very sorry that there were aspects of the clinic experience that disappointed you. We will ensure that this is passed onto the service managers to ensure your comments are given due consideration. Thank you for taking the time to communicate your experience to us. I am also sorry for the difficulty you experienced with the wheelchair along with there being no one to request porter assistance for you at the reception desk. Should you wish to receive a response to these concerns please do not hesitate to contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 01865 221473 or at palsjr@ouh.nhs.uk and a PALS Officer will be happy to help.

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