"No one home Saturday 7/5/2016"

About: Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

I attended Wansbeck out-patients department for a planned procedure at 8-30am. Only to find no one going about, it was like walking into a deserted film set. I walked up the long corridor to the main entrance not seeing or hearing any noise, the reception was also closed as was the cafe, I then saw a member of staff heading towards the exit and asked them if they could tell me where I was supposed to be? They told me to return back to the out-patients department and turn right and follow the corridor round to the waiting area, as someone would be there. I only passed one nurse on my return who came out of a ward, who confirmed I was heading in the right direction. The corridor was partly lit and reception closed. I did eventually find two nursing staff who were in clinic. On the wall is a poster saying "outstanding care" surely some sign of activity or instruction on where you are to go would be part of that care? I was in that area for more than 10 minutes before actually seeing another human being!

My procedure was carried out professionally.

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Response from Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I am sorry that you were unable to find any staff to direct you when you arrived for your scheduled appointment at 8.30 am.

I would never expect to find the department empty in the way that you describe and would like to learn from your experience and find out more what happened ? I can appreciate how disconcerting it was to have to wait 10 mins before you could speak to anyone. I am sorry that your initial impression of the department wasn't a warm and welcoming one.

Please email me your details and I can look into what happened straight away, my email address is Annie.laverty@nhct.nhs.uk. In the meantime I will speak to the clinical team who run our outpatient service, to confirm the arrangements for reception staff to greet patients who have early appointments with us. I am also sorry that you found our signage to be lacking, with your information I will be able to look into which department we need to highlight and our estates team will work to improve this.

I am glad to hear your procedure was carried out professionally.

Looking forward to hearing from you.



Annie Laverty – Director of Patient Experience