"Waiting time & attitude of staff really isn't..."

About: Queen Elizabeth I I Hospital (Welwyn Garden City)

I was referred to the Vicki Adkins Breast unit following an appointment with my doctor on 8th May. If you've ever found a lump in your breast you will appreciate how terrifying it is having to wait for an appointment but was told I would get seen within the 2 week guideline. I received a call on 18th June suggesting an appointment the following day. I say suggesting, the call was took the tone that if I didn't take it, there was no guarantee I would be seen later that week. I arrived 15 minutes early to a pretty packed waiting room, went to the reception and met somebody who is clearly in the wrong job. No compassion or manners, more interested in talking to a colleague about food shopping. Told to fill in a form and wait. I waited for almost an hour and a half before meeting a lovely consultant, they were great. After being examined I was told I needed a mammogram / ultrasound / biopsy and would hear within 2 weeks. Why on earth could this not be done whilst I was there? Today I received my appointment, 11th June, this is 5 weeks after being referred and nearly 6 weeks after finding a lump, surely this is an unacceptable time frame for somebody who is sick with worry? Looking at the Breast Cancer Care Forum, everybody is seen, tested and receiving their results within 2 weeks of visiting their doctors, why can't this happen at the QE2, my gut feel is the transition to the new wing is a priority.

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Response from Queen Elizabeth I I Hospital

Thank you for posting these comments and whilst we agree that the move of the clinic will improve the environment in which patients are seen, your observations suggest that there are other aspects of the service that require attention. We would really appreciate it if you would be happy to email us at generalenquiries.enh-tr@nhs.net so we could get your concerns followed up for you. At the very least, you deserve an explanation about what is and is not appropriate in terms of waiting times and what you can reasonably expect. Given what a worrying time this is for you, you may also find this sort of contact helpful.

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