"Attitude of receptionist"

About: Hinchingbrooke Hospital

Over Christmas my Dad was unwell - he was admitted via A & E on the 26/12/14 with an infected (which ended up being Nacrotic) Gall Bladder, he was operated on the 29th and left hospital on the 31st. The service he received when he saw a doctor/consultant/nurse in A & E or the subsequent 2 wards was good. But the attitude & tone of the reception staff in A and E was terrible on both occasions he visited them. The worst example was on the 2nd January when he returned to hospital because he again had stabbing pains in his side, we called 111 who told us he should see a doctor within 6 hours, we called our surgery who said there were no appointments but put me through to the out of hours doctor who said they have no appointments and he needed to go to hospital (note - we are not the sort of people who arrive at A and E as a first solution - we had already exhausted the other options). In particular it was one receptionist who was the worst - as you walk into the Emergency Department there is a curved desk in front of you and two pillars either side of you - you are naturally drawn to the desk directly in front of you between the two pillars - however it would appear we are supposed to check in at the desk to the left - there are no signs to this affect and it is difficult to know which desk you are supposed to wait at and both ladies sat behind the desk ignore you completely so it doesn't give you any hint or indication. I started to try to explain to the receptionist - after she told my father off for sitting in a chair! That my father came into hospital on Boxing day and was operated on on the 29th (thinking the fact that he is 2 days out of hospital following an unplanned operation) but i couldnt finish my sentence before she interupted me - very abruptly with "what are his symptoms today". We then waited for about an hour and a half before we went through to see a Doctor (obviously it was the 2nd January so we knew we would have to wait) and in that time I managed to easily observe this receptionist do the same thing to several other patients - sometimes she would ignore people because she was speaking to an ambulance driver but often she would make them wait until she was quite ready and never even acknowledging their presence in front of her. I am shocked that this receptionist would choose a job in the care profession or in a customer service role as she clearly has no desire to listen/empathise with patients or provide any sort of customer service. I am sure they were very busy - but i think it would be worth mentioning that a lady who took over from this receptionist later who managed to at least acknowledge patients who appeared in front of her with eye contact and a nod rather than disgust which is what the first gave us and every other customer that day. Maybe you could invest in some training for the receptionist - or at least a reminder that we (the tax paying patients) are not there to get in her way - we have actually been up since 4am with my Dad crying out in pain!!!

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Response from Hinchingbrooke Hospital

Many thanks for taking the time to leave us feedback about your recent experience of Hinchingbrooke. We pride ourselves on providing every patient with a high standard of care, and are sorry you do not feel you or your father received this. We take all feedback very seriously and our A&E team will be looking into the issues you have raised. Ifyou would like to discuss this matter further, contact a member of our Patient Advice and Liaison Services Team on 01480 428964 or by email: hch-tr.pals@nhs.net.

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