"Ridiculously long waiting period"

About: Darlington Memorial Hospital

I recently had an appointment in the ENT department as a follow up to a previous operation. My appointment was for 10.10am. I arrived early despite spending an eternity trying to find a parking spot. Something should be done about the lack of parking spaces at this hospital. At reception it seemed to take an inordinately long time to simply check name, d.o.b. address and doctor's surgery etc etc. The receptionists seemed to spend too much time talking to each other! I was in the waiting area 10 minutes before my appointed time. 1 and a half hours later I was still waiting!! On the board it showed that one doctor was running 40 minutes late, another doctor was running 1 hour late. How is this possible so soon after the clinic has opened? At 11.30 I asked a nurse how much longer I would have to wait as I had an appointment elsewhere. They quickly checked and said I was next in. I was called almost immediately to see a doctor, although I was supposed to see the doctor who had performed my operation. My appointment lasted literally 2 minutes!! The doctor who saw me had come out of the room on 4 separate occasions. On 3 of these occasions they returned holding a hot drink, and on the other they came out clutching a mobile phone and returned several minutes later, phone in hand. I find it hard to believe that this doctor had so many patients to see before 10.10am which was my appointment time and it seems too much of a coincidence that as soon as I questioned a nurse, I was seen almost immediately. The doctor saw very few patients before me so I do not understand why I had to wait an hour and a half. Sheila Kilgarriff

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Response from Darlington Memorial Hospital

Dear Mrs Kilgarriff Thank you for providing feedback on your recent visit to the ENT clinic at Darlington Memorial Hospital. I am very sorry to hear that you were unhappy with your experience on this occasion and we have sent your feedback to the Service Manager. She has offered her apologies for the very long wait you had. They have explained the doctor who was coming in and out of the room was most likely a junior doctor assisting in the clinic that day and they do need to go to the treatment rooms and also to the casualty clinic at times. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss your concerns with you. If you feel this would be useful please contact the Trust’s Patient Experience Team on 0800 7835774. If you would prefer to contact us by e-mail, our address is patient.experience@cddft.nhs.uk If you do decide to contact us, please make us aware that you have left comments on the NHS Choices website. The Trust is grateful for all feedback, positive or negative, as it means we can better understand what is important to our patients. Thank you for leaving your comments on NHS Choices. Patient Experience Team County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust Tel: 0800 7835774

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