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"Good experience but frustrating moments were had"

About: Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham / Accident and emergency

(as a relative),

I am writing on behalf of my wife who I took to the above hospital recently in the evening.

A small issue with the reception staff. There are two desks for this, on one the member of staff was absorbed in admin work so patients were ignored. The member of staff at the other desk was taking about ten minutes per patient to book them in. Reason for this was difficult to understand.

After about a two hour wait we were called in by the Doctor, I don't remember their name but it was about 10. 30 in the evening. The doctor was polite, sounded competent and examined my wife's' foot thoroughly and asked all the relevant questions. She was then sent for x ray, which was fine.

After another wait and blood tests a different doctor ( Orthopedic) examined my wife's foot and said couldn't come to a definite conclusion. The doctor said that they were waiting for the blood test results regarding level of uric acid.

Another long wait and the first doctor came in and said that all the tests, including uric acid levels were were correct and that we could go and should book an appointment at the fracture clinic in a weeks time, mean while take pain killers.

On arriving at the reception desk where a number of people were present, the receptionist shouted I'll call you when I'm ready. We were attended to ten minutes later. By now it was 12. 25 in the morning. When we got home, my wife got a phone call to say that the uric acid levels in her blood were high and she had gout! ! ! That she should go and see her GP next day to get medication.

While mostly a good experience, there were many frustrating moments. She is now off work and resting at home.


Response from Patient Relations & Experience Manager, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback about your experience at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham when you accompanied your wife. We are pleased to hear that overall your experience was positive but we are disappointed that we didn’t get everything right. We value your feedback which has been shared with all relevant senior staff and will be discussed with their team members.

The Reception Manager has advised that she is sorry on behalf of the team for the delays you experienced. Delays occur for a variety of reasons; for example some patients require longer to book in at reception than others, however without knowing the exact date you attended she is unable to comment on the specific reason for the delay in attending to you. She is also very sorry about the comment made by the receptionist in relation to you being called when she was ready, this is not the way our reception staff are trained to communicate with patients or their family members. This will be discussed with reception staff at the earliest opportunity.

In addition to this we are keen to discuss your experience in more detail so that we can investigate further what has gone wrong and ensure any other necessary actions are taken.

If you and your wife are happy to discuss your concerns with us further please make contact via the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) who will be pleased to arrange this. PALS can be contacted by phone 0121 371 3280, by email, via the hospital website or in person by dropping in between 9am – 5pm (Mon-Fri) to the PALS office located near the Information Desk in the main entrance of the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.