"Annoying, frustrating and time wasting"

About: Royal Berkshire Hospital

What I liked


What could be improved

Patient records - These were paper based and they lost my notes on two occasions so I had to go through all the tests three times which meant repeat visits.

On one occasion when the waiting room was full they sent us all off for lunch and told us to come back in two hours. They did not tell us we needed to book back in again on return so those of us who had been sitting there all morning, sat there for another couple of hours before realising that recent arrivals were going straight in. When we complained we were told it was our fault for not letting the staff know we were back and we would now have to wait until they'd cleared all those who had booked in since lunch.

When sent to a different department for tests, notes were not available for them so we had to sit and wait while somebody ran around the hospital trying to get hold of them.

Anything else?

There is a general atmosphere of disorganisation throughout the hospital. I doubt I have spoken to a single person who can say anything good about the place and a visit is viewed with some dismay.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Royal Berkshire Hospital

Thank you for your comments regarding your visits to our outpatient department nearly two years ago. We are truly sorry that you experienced such a poor service and would like to assure you that many changes have occurred since that time. We are certain these changes have had a positive impact on many of the concerns you have raised.

The outpatient department at the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust has, in the last two years, achieved very high standards in the local environment audits and the national PEAT audits. Cleaning is monitored daily by the departmental sister and any concerns are addressed immediately. Our housekeeping department have retrieved the cleanliness audit for the time in question but were unable to find any evidence of your claim that the department ‘was not very clean’. The audits indicate that there were some light lint levels (dust) visible on inspection, and one floor was in need of burnishing but, nothing was found to be dirty. Despite busy clinics, any cleanliness issues raised would have been addressed as a matter of urgency. No concerns or complaints regarding the cleanliness of the department were raised at the time and due to the length of time passed, it would now be impossible to investigate further.

We have a new outpatients department sister, who is passionate about patient experience and all of the reception staff and many of the health care assistants have attended training sessions on customer service. The department has received many compliments over the past year, many of which have highlighted the respect and dignity shown to patients during their contact with the department.

Paper notes do pose some difficulties throughout a large organisation but again our tracking and storage of notes has undergone both management and organisational changes since you visited our Trust. We believe these have helped to achieve a much improved service and can only apologise for the distress that the repeat tests and delays caused you. We know how much anxiety is caused when things don't go according to plan and we are saddened to hear that you were not treated with the understanding and care that we would expect.

We hope that if you have cause to visit our Trust again, you are able to recognise how much things have improved and we thank you for taking the time to highlight the concerns you had during your visit in 2010.

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