"Waiting and poor system which is aimed at staff..."

About: Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Gateshead)

I arrived at the Q E at 10.00am on 31/01/15 to have a minor operation , I had recieved a etter asking me to attend at 10.30am. On arrival I was told that procedures would begin at 1.30pm. I was led into a waiting cubicle and shown where toilet and magazines were. I was informed that I was 4th on the list. I sat trying to occupy myself by reading, at the same time I could hear personal information being given to staff during assessment by those in cubicles/rooms next to mine, I was concerned that my confidential information would also reach their ears. 1.30 arrived and I was hopeful to be seen within the next three hours at most, this was a day clinic to perform minor procedures. It was 5.00pm when I was eventually taken to theatre, the procedure lasted approx 15 minutes under local anaesthetic. My wait had been 7 hours, nothing to eat or drink, when I asked why I was told that the surgeon prefers this. I had been informed that reception closes at 11.00am on Saturdays, this is why patients are asked to come in at 10.30. Surely reception could be covered from 12 until 1.00pm to accomodate patients booked in for afternoon appointments, this would cut two hours off the wait, rather than inconveniencing everyone booked into the afternoon slot. The nursing staff were there to take any complaints from waiting patients when obviously they hadn't made the organisational decisions. They were faultless in their approach and manner and showed the utmost respect for everyone, I wondered if this attitude prevailed at upper levels but very much doubted it.

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Response from Queen Elizabeth Hospital

We're sorry to hear about your experience and what you describe certainly falls short of what we expect for all our patients. You can see our Surgical Services matron or contact our PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service) on 0800 653 0667 or pals@ghnt.nhs.uk. They can collect some more details from you and look into what happened in your case on your behalf.

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