"Shambolic outpatient appointments system in ENT"

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

I am so appalled by the way the ENT appointment system is being run in the Outpatient Lanesborough Wing, major intervention is necessary. My child was given an 11am appointment and not seen until after 1pm. Children were missing lunch, nursery and school they rapidly became completely miserable. If it were A&E for adults this would be understandable, but is clearly isn't. There is a serious organisational mismanagement issue here in this unit. The appointment system is archaic, outdated and completely dis-functional. I was advised by a Doctor that every patient is double booked! What sense is that when people (mainly young children) have been waiting for an appointment for weeks and months they are desperate to have their health concerns addressed? I have never ever experienced such a badly managed outpatient department across any other hospital in South East London. As a result the waiting area was heaving with annoyed parents, bored and fractious children - it was complete chaos! Unfortunately this showed the organisation at its worst. Furthermore the reception was understaffed and solitary person there was actually stressed and as a result very rude with very poor customer service. Junior staff didn't appear to know how patient notes were to be followed up, or really what they were supposed to be doing to be of use. The management of this section is extremely poor, unprofessional, badly organised and mismanaged exasperated by the ineffective and inefficient patient booking system. It really is bad and the experience will undoubtedly have a tremendous impact on patient confidence in care within this section. I would suggest public transport or walking to this place, otherwise you'll get fleeced in the car park for much more than you you'd imagined! They need a commitment to patients paying to park in the car park, whereby, if outpatients appointments are delayed beyond 1 hour a free parking ticket will be issued for each hour of delay. This is effective in Epsom & St.Heliers Trust, it does work! Why on earth should hard working tax and NI payers be charged exorbitant parking charges having invested hugely towards the NHS. Why should we have to pay once more for poor ENT management systems. I certainly had blind faith that ENT run an efficient and effective appointment booking system, I was sooo wrong. It was dire! Additionally I was charged for 3 hours of parking which really does add insult to injury! Our eventual appointment was finished within 10mins. An improvement action plan is critical to ENT, outpatient care and appointments staff fell woefully behind schedule. My child was very distressed, hungry and badly affected by the appalling waiting system in ENT.

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Response from St George's Hospital (Tooting)

Thank you for taking the time to post feed back about your experience at St. George’s Hospital. Your comments will be sent to the managers of the Corporate Out Patient Service and the ENT Service. We are sorry to learn that your visit was not up to the standard we would expect for our patients and relatives. You may contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service if you would like to talk to the management of this service regarding the problems you experienced. The contact information for the PAL Service is by email - pals@stgeorges.nhs.uk or by telephone on 020 8725 2453.

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