"I visited the new and vastly improved ..."

About: Frimley Park Hospital (Frimley)

(as the patient),

What I liked

I visited the new and vastly improved out-patient department on 8 March 2010 for a six monthly consultation with a doctor and was very impressed with the facility. It has been well planned, is light and airy and welcoming.

What could be improved

That the new information system be used to keep patients informed about anticipated delays in seeing the consultant or his/her registrar. The only information published indicated an hour delay to meet one consultant but no reason given. My appointment was the doctor's first at 0930 but I was not called-in to see their registrar until 0950 hours. I have been attending the clinic for about 7 years and my appointment has always been delayed by a minimum of 20 minutes with no explanation having been given. When I raised this matter with the registrar on this occasion, they, very politely, explained that the consultants and their registrars had to attend a multi-disciplinary meeting to discuss patients' cases before the start of outpatient appointments on Mondays.

My view is that if this multi-disciplinary meeting must take place before the start of outpatient appointments every Monday, the necessity of which I fully understand, surely outpatient appointments should not be scheduled to commence before 1000 hours?

Anything else?

My overall impression/perception is that there is a lack of customer service awareness on the part of consultants, their registrars and the nursing staff in that outpatients are considered an unwelcome interruption to the hospital's business whereas, with a little appropriate training, patients could be made to feel that the hospital and its staff are there for them and that they are valued.

I abhor the fact and feel personally ashamed that NHS staff should ever be the subject of verbal or physical violence but it would be a great pity if the previously apparent multiplicity of warning notices need to be posted around this new facility!!

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