"The doctor was thorough and I ..."

About: Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Gateshead)

(as the patient),

What I liked

The doctor was thorough and I did not have to wait for very long.

What could be improved

Communication. I never directly got told what was wrong with me.

I never received a copy of the letter sent to my GP and I did ask for this.

Anything else?

The doctors secretary should be allowed to tell you results over the phone.

More about:

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Response from Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to comment on your experience at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and for recommending the hospital to others.

I am pleased that you had a positive experience with your doctor and that you were happy with the time you waited to be seen. I am also pleased that you felt you were treat with dignity and respect by staff at the hospital, as this is important to us.

The issue you raised about communication is a valid point, as it is vital that patients are kept informed of their diagnosis and treatment. If you feel that you have not received an explanation and would like to speak to someone about this please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 0800 953 0667. They will be happy to help you.

I can only apologise that you did not receive a copy of the letter sent to your GP. We have a process in place to make sure copies are sent to patients when they request one and I am sorry the system seems to have failed on this occasion.

We are often asked why secretaries cannot give out results over the telephone. Our policy is that results are sent to the patient’s GP in most cases, as medical information must be given out by a medical professional who can explain the information and answer any questions a patient may have. Secretaries are not medically trained and therefore cannot give out such information.

I hope this answers some of your queries and again I’d like to thank you for taking the time to offer your comments and recommend the hospital.

Ian Renwick.

Chief Executive of Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust.

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