"Some good clinicians surrounded by woeful admin &..."

About: East Surrey Hospital

Our experience of maternity/gynaecology/Obstetrics departments in late 2014 and early 2015 has been of huge variations/inconsistencies. Some great staff, let down by the admin processes surrounding them. We've had directly contradictory advice from midwives and from the doctors. Directly contradictory advice from two doctors within half an hour. Leaving my wife confused, in tears, and with little confidence that decisions were being made in her interests. No matter whether one turns up on time, early, or late for a routine appointment, your paper file just seems to get put in a que which takes 40 mins - 1 hour (in the 'goldfish bowl' part), for consultant appontments. What a waste of time. Every time. Our experience has been of different parts of the hospital entirely failing to work in a way which is joined up from the patients perspective. Sending us from one part of the building to another to make appointments, then being sent back for a different bit of paper we should have been given originally, then back again. Then having the hospital send a letter about an appointment we didn't know about, which arrived the day after the appointment date. What a waste of time, postage costs, and an appointment slot. The hospital seemed to entirely forget to arrange appointments they had told us we needed, and they would write to us about. So when we rang to check on when appointments would be there was no record of us needing them at all. Woeful. Good job we rang. There are a number of other examples, but I'll save these for the formal complaint letter. All in all, our experience has been of some really fantastic people, surrounded by the most cripplingly, spirit breakingly, depressingly inneficient and innefective admin processes. I would happily volunteer my own time free of charge to help change this, and might attempt to become a governer, but seriously, in the meantime, I would appeal to staff at all levels in these departments (particularly receptionists, appointment makers, administrators), and the senior leadership of the hospital to look at the real experience of a real patient through their dealings with the hospital and the admin processes the hospital creates, and please find a way to make the teams work together more effectively, and communicate more effectively to patients. This will be so much more efficient and cost effective for you than what we've experienced, and will transform the experience for patients.

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Response from Tasha Gardner, Communications Manager, Marketing and Communications, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear Anonymous

I am really sorry to hear about the experience you and your wife have had and if you would like to send me your contact details I know our maternity matron would like to talk to you both and look into the issues you have raised.

I would also encourage you to stand for election as a governor as it's really important to us that our patients and relatives have a voice and a role in helping us shape and improve our services. Please do let me know if I can send you some more information about this.

kind regards



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