"We came away with no questions answered"

About: Borders General Hospital / Radiology

(as the patient),

My husband got a phone call to say his blood tests were off and may have a clot or pneumonia. He was told to attend AAU at BGH promptly the following day.

We came along and he was sent for a chest X-ray and ct scan pretty quickly. We came back to the unit at 1. 30 and we're told a doctor was checking his results and would be up to chat to us regarding results. At 4. 45 we were still sitting waiting. 3 hours 15mins to sit about for results is ridiculous.

A practitioner then came in gave us a letter and told us we could go home. No chat with a doctor nothing. We asked them what was wrong and we were told 'there was something on your lung, it may always have been there or it may be a clot'. We asked about treatment follow up etc. And were told it wasn't their job to arrange and that they were only asked to do the scans.

We waited to be seen and never even seen a doctor in the end and the results that were given were shocking. I would never send a patient away like they did. The attitude and rush to get us out the door in the end was worrying. We came away with no questions answered and very concerned about his health. I hope something can be done about this. It needs to be addressed.

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Responses

Response from Lynn Mccallum, Consultant Physician. Head of Service for Unscheduled Care, Acute Medicine, NHS Borders We are preparing to make a change

picture of Lynn Mccallum

Dear Ley92,

Thank you so much for taking the time to feedback to us. I am so sorry that your husband's experience did not provide you both with the answers that it should have done.

The service that your husband was referred to (our ambulatory care service) is an outpatient process whose purpose is to expedite investigations for patients without them having to come to hospital. Unfortunately, it does come second in line to our inpatient investigations which get priority for reporting of scans etc. The delay (>3 hours) was in awaiting the report of your scan. I apologise that we did not explain this to you or give you realistic expectations of expected waiting time.

In addition, I'm afraid that we also had an internal breakdown in communication between your referring team and the AAU team. We were under the impression that you had been reviewed by a doctor the day before and that we were simply to carry out the appropriate investigations. This is the reason behind not seeing a doctor on the second day but I am incredibly sorry that this was not explained to you or your husband.

All in all, it is clear that we have fallen short in both your expectation but also of our own expectation of the standard of care that we wish to deliver. I have been in touch with your husband and invited him to come in for further review so that we can get to the bottom of the symptoms that he is experiencing. I hope that by doing this, we will be able to answer at least some of your questions.

Although no service likes to get negative feedback, in many ways it is even more powerful than positive as it gives us the information that we need to make a change to the process. On the back of your feedback, I plan to create an information leaflet that can be given to patients and relatives about our ambulatory care service so that there is a clear understanding that there may occasionally be a bit of a wait. We will also create posters to put in the waiting room with this information.

I hope that this response provides you with a bit more information and I would of course be happy to answer any further questions when we meet in person.

With best wishes,

Lynn

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Response from Lynn Mccallum, Consultant Physician. Head of Service for Unscheduled Care, Acute Medicine, NHS Borders We have made a change

picture of Lynn Mccallum

Dear Ley92,

Apologies in the delay in getting back to you regarding the changes that we planned in response to your husband's care.

I am pleased to say that we have now finalised an information leaflet for our AAU area which outlines the care that you may receive there. It is currently out to the printer but I hope that it will soon be given to all patients, either at the GP surgery or when you arrive in AAU.

I've attached a copy of the leaflet here in case you are interested! It is clearly meant to be folded in three but will give you an idea about the content. If you have any ideas about how we could improve it, I would love to hear from you!

I very much hope that your husband is now feeling much better.

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Best wishes,

Lynn

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