"Time management and patient information"

About: Kent & Canterbury Hospital

Invited to attend Fractures Clinic (broken wrist progress interview) 1010 Tuesday 21 October... I live in Thanet, where a perfectly good hospital, with its own Fracture Clinic, exists. 40 mile drive... Consultant absent. No attempt by hospital to contact me to advise late appointment, either by phone or text before travelling or once arrived at the hospital.

I waited one hour and twenty minutes, without info, perched on a plastic chair with a plastered leg straight in front (another matter). There was no indication as to cause of delay or of its duration, at any time.

Consultant interview lasted 6 (counted) minutes.

Wrist cast removed, a brace fitted, and drive home.

Was this efficient use of my - and your - time?

But it gave me time to think generally about the NHS as experienced: Patient advice and efficient communication must be paramount/ there were 7 hospital staff of various descriptions essentially wandering around all told in my waiting area: no urgency, and no apparent function: cost to NHS?

There appears to be a 'Reception' area for each department, where work appears to be duplicated: why, when electronic communication is available and is much more time-efficient than toting folders around the place? What about banning 'unhealthy' foods from retail outlets in hospital precincts. Several staff, and most of the seen patients, were severely overweight and were obviously not working exemplars for an institution dedicated to the pursuit of a healthy life - a difficult, one, that, but you get my point.

Finally, a simple phone call and all this could have been efficiently completed at QEQM.

Without exception, the staff were individually excellent – but so many of them!

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Response from Kent & Canterbury Hospital

We need to investigate why you were invited to K&CH for your fractures clinic appointment.

Please would you contact PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service) to provide your details so that we can look into this.

The telephone numbers are 01227 783145 and 01227 864314 (please leave a message if you get the answerphone) or email ekh-tr.PALS@nhs.net or complete a form via our website www.ekhuft.nhs.uk (click on the complaints button on the front page and you will be led to an online form).

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