"Orthopaedic dept. receptionist is a joke"

About: Royal Lancaster Infirmary

I missed my initial appointment for a broken finger (my responsibility - I know) but when I rang up orthopaedics to rebook one I was told to go back to A&E who told me they couldn't help me any further as it wasn't their job and they'd already passed my x-rays onto orthopaedics, which made sense to me. Then I rang up orthopaedics again to tell them A&E told me to talk to them, and was then told I'd been discharged as per NHS policy upon missing an appointment, so again I tried to rebook and in the same phone call was told to go back to A&E even though I'd already told them A&E couldn't help me. Then the receptionist started getting quite angry at me and told me it wasn't her problem... It wasn't the receptionists problem that I needed to rebook an appointment in her department...? I was absolutely shocked that she had the audacity to say such a thing and felt quite right in getting angry then. She then put the phone down on me and after a few more calls I managed to speak to her superior who immediately told me not to get angry at her employees, but after telling her what the receptionist had said she seemed to side with me and her wording indicated that the receptionist had "forgotten" to tell her what caused me to become angry, and lo and behold she booked me an appointment... Something the receptionist had told me couldn't be done and "wasn't [her] problem." When I finally had my appointment the doctors and nurses were quite pleasant and sorted me out pretty quickly and made sure I was aware of exactly what it was they were going to do to treat me. The doctor then told me to make another appointment with the receptionist, when I got to the reception I told her the doctor had just told book another appointment 2 weeks in advance and was very bluntly told "it'll be sent out to you," not knowing hospital procedure I assumed this was what the doctor meant by book and appointment. Well 2 weeks passed and still nothing came. I feel like an idiot now for having faith in that receptionist after the way she spoke to me. Now my university term has finished and I'm in a different town, so having to have all of the doctor's notes and x-rays sent to my local hospital is a nightmare. So there's a good chance I won't get seen again for a week or so. I should also say that I heard the receptionist talk down, in a very blunt, condescending and rude way to an elderly man who didn't seem 100% mentally. He had said he'd inquired about taxi prices and she said he'd asked her to book one for him, I don't know who was right as I wasn't involved, but the man understandably got upset with the receptionist because of her attitude, which was frankly disgusting, and she then threatened to have him removed from the hospital saying he couldn't "talk to [her] like that." She acts very entitled and seems like she does not want to be there, which is good because I after my treatment and witnessing this man's treatment I strongly feel she should be removed from her job.

Story from NHS Choices

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››


Response from Royal Lancaster Infirmary

We can understand your frustration and are really keen to investigate the circumstances you have described to ensure that in future the risk of this happening is reduced. We’d therefore be grateful if you could contact our Patient Experience team on 01539 795497 and we can launch an immediate investigation and respond directly to you. Many thanks for bringing this to our attention.

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful

Updates, changes and questions related to this story