"The doctors are quality as far ..."

About: St Peter's Hospital (Chertsey)

(as the patient),

What I liked

The doctors are quality as far as professional expertise. Most have good bedside manner except one specialist I saw who was arrogant as can be. He tells me he thinks I may have a disease that could be eventually life threatening to my liver, then rushes me through a 7 minute appointment, no discussions go into any depth about alternative or additional treatments that could help. Just take the pill and see you in six months.

What could be improved

However, he diagnosed me provisionally, ordered blood tests and said we'd have them in a week. I was panic stricken as I was shoved out the door. No understanding at all. I called the secretary's station for three weeks and no answers regarding my blood tests. No one answers the phone at all in three weeks time!!! I called every day asking for a return call. No return call came. When I finally got the Secretary on the phone, she did not understand that I'd been left hanging about this condition for three weeks. I asked to speak to the doctor and she said no. "He doesn't speak to patients." I finally had to get my GP to find out what was going on. I then complained to the NHS Hospitality "Customer Services" people downstairs. They were very kind and understanding however the minute my complaint went back upstairs, the secretary had her revenge. I had to miss my next appointment as I was in the A&E Basingstoke with my mother in law on that day as she had an emergency, I called and informed her about the sudden emergency. She then wrote a letter to my GP saying that the Doctor would no longer be treating me as I "couldn't be bothered to come to my appointment as I didn't have the time" as the excuse she stated that I gave.

That was blatantly ridiculous, and my GP was shocked, as my mother in law was 5 days in serious condition and I was practically living at the A&E that week.

I had to ask my GP to refer me to another specialist on BUPA. I was highly disappointed with the personal revenge tactics if you dare to complain about their totally unprofessional and uncaring services. Unfortunately their customer services representatives cannot do anything to help as once you complain, you're blacklisted. Highly annoyed with the lack of professionalism of this particular doctor and his secretary.

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Response from St Peter's Hospital

We are very sorry that your experience at our hospital was not better and we thank you for your feedback. We fully agree that our medical staff should take the time to make sure patients understand their condition and any tests or medication required and you should not have felt rushed through your appointment. It is quite common for patients to return to their GP to receive test results, and we have taken on board the need to make it clearer to patients what the next step is, where they should go to receive their results and when they can expect them. Please accept our apologies that the care and communication you received on this occasion was not to the standard either you or the Trust would have expected.

It is unacceptable that your call was not returned much more quickly but we are pleased that you found our Patient Advise and Liaison Service (PALS) to be helpful. We would like to reassure you and all our patients that our PALS and complaints service handle any queries in the strictest of confidence and any paperwork generated by them is kept entirely separate to a patient's medical notes. The Trust actively encourages patients and carers to tell us when they are unhappy with care and treatment, or the services we provide, and we work to ensure that patient care is not adversely affected by raising concerns or complaining.

We are therefore concerned to learn that you felt our staff took revenge after you voiced your complaint, as this is not behaviour we support or condone. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss your feedback in more detail and would be grateful if you would contact PALS again on 01932 723553.

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