"Unhelpful reception staff"

About: Southend Hospital / Ophthalmology

(as a parent/guardian),

I visited the eye clinic with my daughter. Her appointment was (16: 10). After seeing other patients being called numerous times by different clinicians, I went up to the receptionist and asked if my daughter had been missed? She put down her mobile phone and said that no she wouldn't have been, but to grab a nurse. She made no attempt to check. I couldn't 'grab a nurse ' as we were seated at the back and the nurses came in, called their patient and left, I would never get to them in time.

After waiting about an hour past our appointment time (16: 55) a nurse came out and asked who had only been seen by a nurse and was still waiting to see a doctor? My daughter said she hadn't been seen by anyone! The nurse went to look for her notes. She found them still sitting with the receptionist. I reminded the receptionist that I had asked her if we had been missed, to which she replied "did you check in? " Yes of course we did, she said it must've been the receptionist that had just left that booked us in. And the nurses usually come out and check. That may well have been the case but she had made no effort to help with my enquiry, if she had, the mistake would have been rectified. The result of this was we were seen by the doctor but told we would have to come back for the 'dots test'. The other patients had been coming and going several times having this done prior to seeing the doctor and I suspect my daughter would also have done the same if we had been seen on time, but as most of the staff were now assembled by reception they were clearly waiting to go home.

I work in a hospital and my daughter works in London. We are both going to have to change shifts and book annual leave to return for a second time to have a test which I truly believe would have been done at the same appointment if the receptionist had made an attempt to check on my notes request earlier.

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Response from Louise McIver, Patient Involvement Coordinator, Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for your post relating to Ophthalmology.

I am sorry to hear of the problems you encountered on your visit and ensure you I will be speaking to the department regarding your comments.

Unfortunately without personal information I am unable to look into your specific details but would suggest you speak with our PALS team who will be able to look into the details and your appointment.

Email - pals@southend.nhs.uk or call 01702 385333

Again, I apologise for this and hope that this will be rectified for the future.


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