"The difference between caring and officiousness"

About: Royal Cornwall Hospital (Treliske) / Ophthalmology

(as a relative),

I attended the eye department with my wife who had an emergency appointment. She was worried about possible delays because she had another appointment later the same day at dermatology, so as she checked in at reception she tried to ask the receptionist if things were running on time. She did not even manage to get the question out before she was cut short in a very officious manner. No smile, no greeting, just a brusque dismissal. 

When she got to see the clinical staff (15 minutes late) she explained and they could not have been more helpful or accommodating. 

She had her initial consultation and drops administered and was told she could go to her other appointment then come back, just let them know at reception. 

A different person this time who was the polar opposite of the first receptionist, smiles, friendly interaction and a caring attitude.

Dermatology appointment over we returned, instantly recognised, greeted and checked back in by the second receptionist once they had finished with the person they were dealing with. The 1st receptionist we encounted was not with anyone, they did glance up, but chose to continue with their admin rather than deal with us. 

While we were waiting for our second appointment the 1st receptionist checked an elderly patient in, who admittedly was 40 minutes later. And did we all know it as the patient was publicly berated by the staff member in a very loud voice..

This receptionist maybe efficient, but their people skills are sadly lacking 

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Response from Kerry Trembath, Senior Staff Nurse, Ophthalmology, Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust

Dear Cornish Pigman,

Firstly can I apologise for the delay in responding, I have just been alerted to your message.

Thank you for taking the time to post your comment. I can understand the frustration you and you wife must have experienced when trying to explain about the timings of other appointments in the hospital.

Please be assured that I will escalate this feedback to the manager of reception to pass on the negative and positive encounters with our reception staff.

I will also pass your kind words onto the nursing staff for their help that day.

We are constantly trying to improve our service so your feedback is very important to us, so thank you again.

Kind regards,

Kerry Trembath,

SSN, Eye Unit, RCH

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful