"I felt unimportant and that I was not worthy of his time"

About: Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust / Adult mental health

(as the patient),

I was 10 minutes early for my appointment but waited nearly an hour after my appointment time to see my consultant. As soon as he called me in, he said he didn't have much time as he was running late. The person before me had been in with him for nearly 50 minutes so I felt angry that my time had to be cut short due to bad timekeeping.

I have 2 outpatient appointments a year and I had a couple of issues that I wanted to discuss in depth. One was about medication and the other about my overall wellbeing. I have been struggling a bit of late, and had waited a long time for the Outpatient appointment, so I felt I had a lot riding on it.

However, my appointment was rushed and I did not feel listened to. My consultant seemed distracted and keen to move on to his next appointment because he was running so late. I felt he was dismissive of me and did not seem interested in what I had to say. The appointment slots are for 30 minutes but mine lasted 10 minutes. I felt unimportant and that I was not worthy of his time. I came away feeling very frustrated and angry that I could have been so overlooked.

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Response from Hugh Jones, Service User and Carer Involvement Lead , Quality Support and Assurance, Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Scarlett Poppy,

I am extremely disappointed that you have been left feeling let down. My immediate concern is that you are able to discuss properly your medication and wellbeing. I would urge you to contact James Allan, our Patient Advice and Liaison Service Manager, on 0800 917 8504 to see what can be arranged.

Clearly, every patient has the right to be treated with dignity and respect and to be given sufficient time. Sometimes consultations will run over but that is for the clinician to manage and the next patient should leave the consultation feeling that their questions have been answered and with a clear plan for the future.

I will pass on your comments to our Medical Director (who manages the consultants) and to our Deputy Director of Adult Mental Health Services so that all staff can learn from your unfortunate experience.

Best wishes,

Hugh Jones

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