"long wait in ent, no explanations given"

About: Royal Berkshire Hospital / Ear, Nose and Throat

Had a FUp appt in ENT clinic today. Clinic delayed by nearly 2hours. No explanation given, even when asked, just receptionist got agitated to everyone who dared question the delay. One old man left before being seen because he clearly had enough of waiting and receptionist's poor attitude in snapping at him when he merely asked what on earth was going on. Another old man was forgotten about in a wheelchair, no-one bothered to check on him. Most appalling was a visually impaired lady with her frail husband and guide dog.After being left waiting and waiting, the lady was not seen because clinic staff said they had no GP letter. Maybe clinic had lost it, or postroom? They were told to phone their own GP get the GP to write another letter urgently, and only then would she be seen, yet they said her problem was urgent! Couldn't they have used a bit of leeway, phone GP themselves? No-one even asked lady if she needed assistance leaving the department! As for me, several times I asked about delay, to be told I was last on the list. Receptionist got ratty to my mum too, who came with me for support. I have other long term ongoing health problems, so consideration should be given to this in realising that patients are worried, anxious, get restless and fed up depending on what else they've got going on in their lives. To cap it all, I was the last one left at 12:45, still not been seen when staff began to take off for lunch, and reception put up a notice saying they were now shut until 2pm. A lack of communication from staff to patients about reasons for lengthy delays, if an announcement was made patients waiting could have stretched their legs, got some fresh air, a drink or bite to eat to feel better in themselves, not endlessly wait for their head to be bitten off or ignored when asking reasonable questions about delays. I feel more fed up and tired than before I left home this morning. It just drains you, the experience of it. We know there are severe pressures on the NHS, and it didn't help when Doctors striked, cancelling thousands of clinic appointments leading to ongoing backlogs, but, please, a bit of communication and understanding would not go amiss towards those of us in the waiting room wondering what we've got to face when we eventually get seen for our appointment.

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Response from Royal Berkshire Hospital

We are very sorry to hear about your experience in our ENT clinic. It is our expectation that staff are courteous and respectful at all times and that patients are kept informed with regards to any delays. Unfortunately, the clinic was very busy that morning but estimated delay times for all four clinics that were running that morning were shown on the display board .

We are unable to go into detail about other patients in attendance but please be assured that their needs were being attended to and that no patient had been forgotten.

We appreciate you raising the issues and your feedback will be discussed with the team.

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