"Treatment delay whilst staff watching eclipse!"

About: City Hospital campus

Whilst accompanying my husband for appointment with Endoscopy 20/03/15 there were delays in treatment times. Five nursing staff/doctors stood outside the building to watch the partial eclipse for 25-45 minutes from 9am - 9.45am. Consequently appointment times were delayed. A nursing sister came to speak to all patients waiting for treatment to announce there were delays of 1 hour because of staffing shortages. Clearly the department was short of 5 members for that time stated above as they were not working. I took a photograph of the staff standing outside from inside Endoscopy foyer. This is evidential proof if needed. I did ask the receptionist if the nurse were 'on duty'. They eventually came inside and went back to work. I spoke with the 2 doctors directly outside to tell them I was disappointed they were not working and they did then come inside and went back to work. Endoscopy Department is not in the department list for me to be able to highlight in the multi-choice box either! So I've had to tick 'Don't know'!

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Response from Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

Thank you for getting in touch. We’re sorry for the delays you and your husband experienced when you came for your recent appointment.

Any colleagues who chose to watch the eclipse should have done so in dedicated and agreed break times. That doesn’t excuse, however, the delays you experienced.

However, after speaking to colleagues, I can confirm that the delays on the day were caused by unplanned staff nurse sickness and that all trained endoscopy staff were inside preparing rooms ready for the day.

Joanne Prest,

Sister, Endoscopy.