"ENT appointment - what a debacle"

About: Royal Berkshire Hospital

I had my latest ENT appointment which turned Into a bit of a fiasco. I arrived fairly early (to ensure I got parked) and registered at the desk at approximately 2.00pm (my appointment was 2.45). I knew I would be having a hearing test as this is the usual procedure. after about 45 minutes the nurse called me and said I would need to have a hearing test before seeing the doctor. Another 40 minutes passed and I still,had not had a hearing test. I asked the receptionist how much longer I would have to wait and she started to say "they sometimes forget................." And then stopped talking. I'd already guessed I had been forgotten as there were very few patients in the clinic on the day of my appointment and no one had gone in or out of the area where the tests took place. The receptionist then phoned through to the relevant person and said someone was waiting. As a point of interest the nurse had already done this previously. Also they didn't have my medical notes which obviously made it difficult for the doctor to understand what had previously been discussed. After another 5 minutes I was called to my hearing test and then had to wait to see the doctor which I did after a further 20 minute wait. I appreciate this is a very busy department but unusually it wasn't very busy as they only had one doctor on duty and seemed to have allowed for this with a much smaller number of patients waiting to be seen. I have to say the doctor was was kind and thoughtful during our discussions of my problem. It was the act of being forgotten that was most annoying especially as it seemed that specific staff had to be reminded that there were patients waiting to be seem. This is always a busy department but I believe this does not mean that patients should be forgotten in this way.

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Response from Royal Berkshire Hospital

We are very sorry that you had an unacceptable wait which appears to be due to human error. There is work currently being carried out to try to improve the flow of patients in clinic. Thank you for your feedback - it will be used to try and improve the service for all patients.

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