"Excellent care but poor communication between..."

About: St George's Hospital (Tooting) (London)

I came into A&E at about 9pm after my GP advised me to go to A&E if a problem worsened. I was immediately triaged at the door which seemed a really good system and then seen by a nurse after a couple of hours in the Urgent Care part. They were very professional, got a doctor to look at it who then got a surgeon in to have a look. All of them were excellent. friendly, professional, clear about what they said and the need for further opinions. The surgeon got me booked in for day surgery the next day. The negative was that there were huge waits between these people coming which seemed unnecessary-the people who had been paged had arrived but weren't sure which room it was etc. i definitely felt left in the dark about what was happening next. Obviously waits are unavoidable but it would have been much better if someone could just have checked in every now and then and given us an update and let us know we hadn't been forgotten. The one notable exception was (I assume, they didn't introduce themselves unlike everyone else) a junior doctor who appeared to have been left doing the paperwork for the surgeon. They obviously hadn't written down or been told the problem and what was going to happen so they just came in, got me to show them the problem and then just filled in the clinical part of the consent form themselves, and then came in and said 'you just need to sign here'. When my wife queried this and we pointed out that wasn't what the surgeon had said they basically got angry. Then they said they would phone the surgeon and was back 30 seconds later and added in the missing part after saying they had spoken to the surgeon - I just hope they actually had! They said they would get the paperwork to the day surgery where I needed to attend the next day. When I got to day surgery next day at 10am the paperwork obviously hadn't got there as I was left with no information for about 4 hours. Friendly staff but again no information about timescales or updates and in the end I went to the reception and found out they didn't know I was part of the morning surgery as the wrong paperwork had been filed. Anyway, surgeon came, very professional and explained everything and appears to have done a great job as I now feel much better. Great speedy discharge. So very skilled staff (with one notable exception) but real lack of communication between departments and very little in terms of information updates for me, leaving me to assume I'd been forgotten. But very grateful for the skilled work and for having the surgery less than 24 hours after I had arrived. Thank you.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from St George's Hospital (Tooting)

Thank you for your comment on your visit to St. George's Hospital. We are very sorry that your experience of communication between departments and from the SHO was below the standard we expect for our patients. We are pleased to read of the skill of the surgeon. We will pass your comments on to A&E and Day Surgery. Our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) is also available to investigate or feed back comments on services that patient's have experienced. PALS would be able to feed back to the area your dissatisfaction in the service your received with more details from you. PALS is available on 020 8725 2453 or by email on pals@stgeorges.nhs.uk

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