"Absolutely appalled"

About: Leeds General Infirmary

My experience with this infirmary occurred on Saturday 17th January around 3:30Pm and I am still extremely unnerved and irritated by the service i received. I had always deemed the customer service from the NHS as being a very high standard yet due to this experience my perception has completely changed. I was advised by the out of hours service on the night of the 16th to seek medical attention within the next 12 hours and so I initially drove to my local medical centre in kirkstall to which I found shut on weekends. Being a new resident of leeds I am still finding my way around and so my next known instinct was to attend to the infirmary in the city. My experience at the infirmary was completely uncalled for and as a result was very short. It was not the health service which lacked it was the appalling service from the reception which utterly disgraced me. Arriving at the hospital I was not greeted either of the three receptionists behind the counter and so I walked up to the glass to attain their attention. The lady at the front then looked up with neither a smile or a greet as asked what I wanted. Shocked yet polite, I then explained to her what was wrong with me and what i had been advised to do. The lady then (looking at me with complete blank expression and pursed lips) snapped asking why a+e was the first place I would come to when I was not in a threatening condition. I explained how I had already been to my local centre to which she replied in a completely unnecessary tone "well obviously it's shut, its weekend, you should know that". I explained how I wanted to get attention as soon as possible and this was the next place I knew to come to, I then explained how I was a student and had only been in Leeds for 3 months. She then snapped back asking patronisingly why i hadn't set myself up with a doctors yet, saying it was "stupid" to be at the infirmary. She continued to explain, and clearly stated "you do realise a&e is for emergencies like broken limbs and car crashes?"Such responses as these are completely uncalled for and being in pain along with receiving unnecessary abuse and patronising advice was not what I was looking for, and so walking away from the desk my friend then took over and spoke to the lady about where to next go. Though it was only 1 of the receptionists which spoke to my friend and I in a loud, patronising and intimidating way, the other receptionists were clearly embarrased by her behaviour as they kept their heads down and continued typing. The address to which the receptionist gave us was a walk in centre and I was seen to very quickly - to which I was grateful for. I would also like to add that the doctor who I saw explained how my kidney infection would have been better seen to at hospital and further tests will now have to be scheduled. I would like to stress how unprofessional and aggressive the lady was and how because of this I strongly believe this infirmary needs further customer service training asap.

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Response from Leeds General Infirmary

Dear A Lowndes, Thank you for taking the time to write to us. I was very sorry to read of the poor experience you feel you had at Leeds General infirmary; I apologies that we did not meet your expectations. I have passed your comments on to the Matron for A&E who will look into the issues you have raised .It would be very helpful and beneficial for our services and the care of future patients if you would discuss these issues further with the Trust’s Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS). It would also allow us to look into the matters you have raised in further detail and see what lessons we could learn from your experience. Please call our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 0113 2067168 or alternatively email patient.relations@leedsth.nhs.uk . Thank you for taking the time to write to us. With kind regards Rosie Senior Nurse Patient Experience

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