"Kept waiting for no apparent reason"

About: Lanarkshire Community Services / Sexual Health

(as a service user),

I arrived at the Motherwell Health Centre at 12.55 for 1pm appointment in the Sexual Health Clinic.  I took a seat in the waiting room.  From the waiting room I could hear conversations of staff behind the reception area that were undoubtedly of a social nature - voices were raised and there was much laughter.  While I was waiting I read the various notices asking patients to "be patient" if the clinic was running late.  At 1.15 the conversation from behind the reception area came to an end and various staff nurses appeared and began to call patients in for their appointments.  The nurse that called me in did so in a very casual manner.  

Whilst I appreciate that 15 minutes is not a desperately long time to be kept waiting I objected to the apparent lack of genuine reason for this.  I found the behaviour of the staff sincerely lacking in professionalism and disrespectful.  This was of course worsened by the presence of posters somewhat abruptly stating "be patient".  I understand the need for these posters but could I suggest a more polite tone - "we appreciate your patience" perhaps?  Also, if the clinic is asking patients to be patient they should also be doing everything possible to ensure their clinic is running on time.  

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Responses

Response from Cathy Courtney, Team Leader, Sexual & Reproductive Health Services, NHS Lanarkshire We have made a change

picture of Cathy Courtney

Dear KL123,

I'm sorry you were kept waiting for your appointment.

The staff were finishing a meal break following a busy morning clinic which had over run; nonetheless, you should have been offered an apology for the delay to your appointment time.

The notice asking you to be ‘patient’ relates to the drop-in clinic which runs in the morning and again from 4pm. I will get these notices removed when the booked appointment clinic is on. I will also review the wording of the notice.

Again, I apologise for the delay you had at the clinic and I hope we are more punctual if you have cause to access our service in the future.

Kind regards

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