"No staff around on Sunday morning. Bad! 0 out..."

About: Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Greater London)

Due to have a pelvic transvaginal ultrasound as an urgent referral so very worried and nervous as it was. Arrived at the hospital 25 minutes early in order to find where I was going. No members of hospital staff were to be seen at all upon entering the main section of the hospital. I went to the place my letter told me to go to and nobody was there- it was like a ghost town so I then tried to find someone to ask- I was sent upstairs by that person and then sent back down by another- both as equally unhelpful but then the next person- one member of staff sitting behind the desk was so blunt and rude and then told me "it's obvious it is that way" - not sure how it is obvious?! Badly sign posted hospital and I have never been there before so nothing will be "obvious" to me. Absolutely appalling! This member of staff should get a disciplinary.

When I finally got to where I needed to be, again, nobody in sight and a fellow patient had to assist me! When I was finally seen the member of staff doing my transvaginal scan was quite abrupt and not very settling at all when you would think having a young 23 year old woman having to have this as the first line of diagnosis would be more friendly and understanding. Though towards the end of the time I was there they were quite friendly telling me that my doctor would be in touch if it was urgent and if I haven't heard anything in a week to get back in touch for the results and next plan of action.

I understand it is very early on a Sunday morning but the behaviour of the aforementioned people (not including the member of staff that scanned me) is unacceptable. Absolutely appalled by this hospital and I am hoping that I can be referred either during the week (maybe it will be better!) or to a completely different hospital for whatever investigations I need next!

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Response from Queen Elizabeth Hospital

It is always disappointing to receive negative feedback and is something we always take seriously as a department.

We would like to start by saying how truly sorry we are to hear that this particular experience wasn’t a pleasant one.

We hold scan lists all weekend in order to keep up with demand and benefit our patients who usually find these appointments more convenient.

A receptionist is usually always present at the front desk in women services however some Sonographers start their scan lists earlier and if patients arrive early we appreciate the area may appear empty or uninviting.

Unfortunately with a Sunday service the hospital in general is not as well staffed which again we understand can be quite frustrating when you are unsure of where you need to go.

We aim to always have someone at the women services reception to greet patients on entering our department and this is certainly something we will look into and hope to improve on, with the intention to eliminate the possibility of another patient experiencing the same.

Since this complaint was sent anonymously, we cannot investigate and speak to the specific members of staff involved however we will inform and reiterate to all staff the importance of our professional behaviour and responses to all patients.

We will also review our appointment letters to ensure they all have the correct directions for our patients and look into the signage of the areas as a priority.

We are pleased that the final feeling towards the Sonographer that scanned this patient was a more positive one and that the communication regarding the scan and results was more satisfactory.

Once again we are sorry about the unpleasant experience this patient has received and hope that on another visit, the experience will be a very different and more pleasant one.

Nejla Mustafa


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