"A frustrating lack of communication."

About: Russells Hall Hospital

We attend a doctors appointment at 8.50am[at GP surgery].We see the doctor at 9.25am and leave at 10.00am with instructions for a c spine xray at the Corbett Hospital for my wife.We go to the Corbet Hospital and after waiting ,xrays are taken but we are told that the 5 images are "inconclusive" and we need to go to Russells Hall for a CT scan, which they will phone Russells Hall ahead of our arrival to arrange.When we arrive at A&E at Russells Hall at 12.15pm they aware of our visit and whats needed by the call from the radiographer at the Corbett.Never the less we have to wait to go through triage to explain everything again, we fail to understand why as details have already come from the Corbett.The triage is very distressful for my wife with the repeated questioning and in consequence her heart rate is raised which prompts a heart scan to be ordered, which again increases her distress.My wife asks that I accompany her but when the staff deny this, we accepted it as we dont want to cause any fuss, but not given any explanation why this is. Eventually we see a doctor from A&E, explain everything all over again and told to go to the xray dept and get directions to the CT suite and he will arrange the scan.When we find the CT suite I go back to the X ray reception to ensure that they are aware we are there.The receptionist says there is no record of a scan being requested.I explain that we have only just left the doctor from A&E and that hes arranging it, I am asked if hes done that or phoned it through I reply I dont know I can only tell you what he said.I am asked again and repeat I cant tell her anything more than I have already told her !! I say I will check back in a few minutes to ensure that the details for the scan have arrived with them.At the same time I give her my wifes name and DOB so she can be booked in.I return to the CT suite to wait with my wife and after 10 minutes I go back to xray reception to ensure they have scan details and my wife has been booked in as waiting which is confirmed.After a considerable time [and I do mean considerable] my wifes name is called and when she responds they say they were expecting her did not know she was there, they thought she was to arrive on a bed [why I dont know] and I do not understand how they could not know she was waiting, again no explanation offered.Eventually my wife has a scan and told to return to A&E nurses desk ,tell them we are waiting for the scan to be evaluated.We do this and are asked to wait in the main A&E waiting area.It is now 16.10 pm and neither my wife or myself has had anything to eat or drink since around 9.30 this morning.At 4.50 PM we feel we cant wait any longer and approach a receptionist and ask if she can please help to finish our visit so we can go home and get some rest ,we are both tired and frustrated now..We leave at 5.15pm 5 hours after arrival with a 5.50 parking bill.More thought and communication would go a long way to help avoid the frustration.

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Response from Russells Hall Hospital

Thank you, Barry, for taking the time to post your feedback about your wife’s experience of attending our hospital and outpatient centre. We welcome all feedback and would like to assure you that all comments are taken seriously and acted upon as part of our ongoing commitment to improving patient experience. We always aim to offer the highest standards of care and we are extremely sorry this was not your wife’s experience when she visited for a scan. We are sorry to hear that being assessed a second time in ED caused your wife further distress; however, all patients attending ED, apart from those with minor injuries, attend triage so that a clinical priority for the patient can be set and early investigations started. This system ensures patients are seen in order of priority i.e. the sickest patients with urgent, time-critical conditions will be seen first. We can see there appears to have been a communication breakdown between our staff in the X-ray departments at Corbett and Russells Hall Hospital, and in Accident and Emergency. We must apologise for the stress and annoyance this has caused you both. If a patient needs a CT scan, the A&E clinician would usually submit an electronic request form and then have a conversation with a doctor in Radiology to discuss the patient’s condition. At this point, the patient would be booked in for a scan. It is not clear why you experienced confusion over the booking of your wife’s scan but we would welcome the opportunity to look into your issues in more detail. If you would like us to do this, please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on free 0800 0730510 and they will be very happy to arrange a meeting.

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