"I received a very prompt service. ..."

About: Buckland Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

I received a very prompt service. I early arrived for a 3.15pm appointment and barely had time to sit at outpatients reception before I was asked to go to the examining room! After seeing the doctor I had to report to X Ray and the receptionist there was very attentive, friendly and professional. They should lead the way in demonstrating to other reception and medical staff how to treat patients reporting for appointments.

What could be improved

Being sent to hospital for further tests has caused me some considerable anxiety.Unfortunately this has not been alleviated by my experience at the Buckland.I waited patiently (!) at outpatients reception while one person chatted on the phone and another person sat reading a file.Both looked up and noticed me but neither acknowledged me or asked me to wait a moment.After 3 minutes plus, the one reading a file took a leisurely swig of their tea and eventually strolled over to the window.They looked over in my general direction and said 'yes?' I explained my appointment and she directed me to a waiting room seat.Not hostile, but slack and careless customer service.When I went into the consultation room, a person was sat reading a file and did not acknowledge me. They did not introduce themselves and was not wearing a name badge.It was the nurse who asked me to take a seat.The person reading the file who I assume was the doctor started the consultation by saying 'you have failed to attend an appointment for a barium meal',still without looking at me.I assured them I had not,that this was my first appointment since being referred by my GP.This went back and forth for a while until I leaned over to see my notes and pointed out they were reading from a report dated 2001.They didn't acknowledge or apolgise for the mistake. Instead they closed the file and started the consultation.They talked over me when I tried to answer them questions and then disregarded some of my answers.I felt as though I was wasting their time and that they were impatient to get rid of me.I left the consultation feeling unheard, intimidated, humiliated and frightened even though they had referred me for further tests.I hope my future appointments will be somewhere else although this experience doesn't give me much hope as the Buckland is rated good whilst the other hospitals in my area are all only rated fair. If this is good treatment then god only knows what awaits elsewhere. I am filled with dread... :-(

Anything else?

I didn't feel able to comment at the consultation because I felt too vulnerable. Being treated like that made me feel that questioning or challenging anything might jeopardise my health care. Please please ask your staff to treat people with courtesy if nothing else. It is frightening to go to hospital and be examined intimately by strangers. You know our names, our addresses, you hold our health in your hands. Anyone who works with the public, as I do, should remember to treat others how they would like to be treated to avoid creating situations like the one described above. It really is that simple... And if anyone tells you otherwise, maybe it's time they stopped working with the public...?!

Story from NHS Choices

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