"poor hotel booking arrangements"

About: National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery, Queen Square

I attended the Day Care Unit for four days and was told that hotel accommodation would be arranged for three nights (i.e. not including the night before my admission). This meant getting up very early to make the long journey to London, as the first test commenced at 9.30am. I thought this was very badly organised, as the test was 24hr blood pressure monitoring, and the stress of travelling and then settling into an unfamiliar hospital environment might produce higher-than-usual readings, when my blood pressure is normally very low. It was not till after the monitor had been fitted that I was told which hotel I would be staying in. Then, on reporting to hotel reception, I was told that I had in fact been booked for the previous night, so I could have travelled up the day before, if the hospital had bothered to inform me. But that wasn't the only problem. The hotel room had been booked for only two nights (up until Wednesday morning) when my hospital tests were continuing until Friday afternoon. I told them I needed the room for a further two nights and they said they would sort it out with the hospital. But when I returned on Wednesday night, I found myself locked out! The receptionist told me they had already spoken to the hospital and had been told quite definitely that my room was not needed for the rest of the week. So I don't know if they were expecting me to sleep in the hospital porch? Rather than spend a night outside in the cold and rain, I was obliged to have that night's hotel bill registered to my own credit card. (Supposing I hadn't had a credit card?) But they still weren't sure if I could stay the following night. The matter was eventually resolved when I spoke to someone at the hospital next day. But this caused further stress immediately prior to another blood pressure monitoring test, and I noticed that my reading was abnormally high when I first entered the test room. I was well-satisfied with the friendliness and helpfulness of the hospital technicians, but the accommodation arrangements were a complete shambles and may have affected my test results. If I ever have to do this again, I would want the name of the hotel and exact dates of stay in writing before I leave home.

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Response from National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery, Queen Square

Thank you for taking the time to feed back to us. We are very sorry to hear about your recent experience of accommodation arrangements for patients of the Day Unit at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. We would be grateful if you could contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) via pals@uclh.nhs.uk or by calling 020 3448 3237 so that we can look into this.