"Unacceptable waiting times "

About: Ormskirk & District General Hospital / Breast surgery

(as the patient),

I attended Ormskirk Hospital this morning for a 10.50am appointment to obtain results from a mammogram, needle test and ultra sound scan on a lump in my breast. I arrived at the clinic at 10.30am to find two other patients in the waiting area. Several people arrived after me but no-one was called in to see a doctor until 11.15am. People appeared to be seen in time order regardless of when they arrived for their appointment - I have no issue with this. However, it was not until 12.15pm that a nurse announced there was a delay due to the fact there was only one doctor on duty. There was no explanation of whether this was unplanned.

I eventually got called into a room at 1.10pm and saw a doctor 5 minutes later, this only after I had informed the nurse I needed to take my daughter to the airport in the afternoon and had to get away. I was actually seen before another patient sat next to me whose appointment was 10.40am and there was also another two patients who still had not been seen. The consultation with the doctor lasted no more than one minute when he told me the lump was benign and I could keep it.

I had expected this result and was not therefore too anxious beforehand but there were other patients who were actually pacing the corridor waiting to be told. I suppose I should be thankful of the result but I can't help wondering why there was no movement from 10.30am until 11.15am and why patients can't be informed of good results by phone to save the appointment which could be utilised by others.

All this on the back of two previous appointments, the first where I waited 45 minutes only to be told to go straight to x-ray before being seen by anyone. When I got there I had a relatively short wait for the x-ray but then could not have the ultra-sound scan because it was 11.20am and the doctor went off duty at 11.15am.

Again, I question why I was sat in a clinic waiting room for 45 minutes when I could have been having the ultra-sound. I then had to go back to clinic for another wait, this time from 11.20am until 12.50 when I was called in to see the doctor who told me they did not have the x-ray results (other results were examined whilst patients were still in the x-ray department and the result of that determined whether they went back to clinic or had an ultra-sound scan).

I had to re-attend the hospital for the scan on a different date.

At no point on any of the three appointments was there any re-assurance or kind words regarding the possibility of what might be discovered.

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