"Terrible customer care and communication 6 hour..."

About: Stoke Mandeville Hospital

Last Tuesday, as a result of severe stomach pains over the Easter weekend, my partner was referred by a clinic in Amersham to Stoke Mandeville Surgical Assessment unit. It was suspected that she had gallstones. It was explained that she need a scan to clarify the situation. We were disappointed that she could not be seen at Wycombe hospital as it would mean that both my partner and myself had to take the day off work to go but the pains were severe and we felt that we had no choice. Upon arriving at A&E reception we were treated quickly and efficiently and despite having to tell the full story of the pains again we were sent up to surgical review very soon. As soon as we arrived in surgical assessment the problems began. We had arrived at 1.30pm but we'were met two or three patients who had apparently been waiting for up to 6 hours. One rather frail old man had been told to come in for a scan first thing in the morning and had not had a drink or anything to eat due to the procedure. Despite high profile posters explaining the risk of dehydration there was not access to water and when the old mans daughter tried to get a drink from he tap marked "drinking water" she was dressed down like a naughty school girl by nursing staff. I waited with my partner for two hours but all that happened was she was asked the same story again, her blood pressure was taken and a blood sample. I had to leave to deal with my children expecting that my partner would have to return to PEnn by bus but when I had delivered my daughter to work at 4.30 and picked up my youngest my partner informed me that she still had not been seen and that no one could tell her anything. Inthe end I had to drive back to the hospital, arriving there with my daugher at nearly 5.45..... Still not seen but again she was told that she needed a scan. We asked staff about progress but they were patronising and dismissive. At 7.00 my wife was eventually shown through to two doctors to be told that she needed a scan but that it was too late to do this and could she come back the next morning. At no time had we been informed that the staff doing the scans had gone home and we had wasted a whole day and around £30 in petrol and parking fees. I would like to point out that the surgical assessment unit is temporarily housed in an old ward with broken toilets and no water available. I was told that moving services to Stoke Mandeville from Wycombe was aim to provide better services. In this case we have received very poor service and spent a great deal of time for nothing. I took more time off to take her to the hospital the next day and after several hours she was dealt with. The scan showed nothing, she may have an ulcer and I have since lost my job due to a perceived lack of focus. At no time was my partner in any real danger but to be told by the doctors at 7.00 on the first day that they were dealing with more urgent cases didn't go down very well.

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Response from Stoke Mandeville Hospital

Dear Mr Provins, Thank you for taking the time to comment and we are so sorry to read about the experience you and your partner had at the surgical assessment unit at Stoke Mandeville hospital. We appreciate you providing us with this important feedback and although we value your comment here, if you haven't done so already, please can you also contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)? This service is dedicated to hearing patient opinions and they will be able to discuss this matter in more detail with you to ensure that we take the best action required. PALS are contactable on 01296 316042 or pals@buckshealthcare.nhs.uk Kind regards Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

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