"wasting nearly a whole afternoon as a result of..."

About: Queen Elizabeth I I Hospital (Welwyn Garden City)

What I liked

Doctor and nurses in clinic 4 - gastroenterology were very helpful and sympathetic after the lack of information and misdirection at reception led to me missing my appointment. The care I received once I got to see them was very good.

What could be improved

The receptionist's instructions and general helpfulness were sadly lacking - I missed my appointment despite being early and was left waiting for an hour and a half.

I had an outpatient appointment and my letter instructed me to go to the reception area on the 3rd floor. The receptionist looked at my letter and ticked me off on her list (leading me to assume I had been checked in) and then muttered something which I had to ask her to repeat twice. This turned out to be "four" and on asking what she meant she indicated for me to go around the corner to the waiting area. At no point did she tell me that I needed to tell anyone else I was there.

I was 20 minutes early for my appointment and the area was very full so I sat down at the end and waited. After waiting for over an hour I started to wander about and a nurse offered to help me. This is when I found out that I was supposed to have checked in with them too. The clinic was nearly over, luckily they were able to fit me in at the end although not with the doctor I was supposed to see.

According to clinic staff, my experience is not uncommon and others have missed their appointments because of the lack of information (and helpfulness) at the reception desk . I suggest that there is a clear case for retraining of some of your staff!

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Queen Elizabeth I I Hospital

What happened to you is unacceptable. No matter what the circumstances, we expect people attending our hospitals to be guided where they need to go by our staff. In your case, not only did this not happen, you were left with the problem. We will take this up with the team involved, but if you wish to make a formal complaint, just get in touch with generalenquiries.enh-tr@nhs.net and we will get that in train for you too.

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