"Confusion at North Devon District hospital"

About: North Devon District Hospital / General surgery

(as a relative),

My husband and I went to Barnstaple yesterday to get the results of a recent biopsy. He had also agreed to take part a study of his condidtion and so we arrived early in time for him to meet the research nurses. They arrived at the specified time and were efficient and very pleasant, they were helpful and pleased to know that their patient had done some research on his condition and was therefore a little informed.

At the specified time, we went to another department to await the results of the previous tests, only to be told that our appointment had been cancelled over a week ago and a new one made with a different specialist sometime ahead.

We had received no letter informing us of this.

The receptionist on hearing our tale was most helpful and did her very best to find someone who could help us. She printed the letter that should have been sent to us about the cancellation and the new specialist.

When we saw the letter, it showed that my husband had been referred to a completely different department, not at all related to his original biopsy.

It was clearly a mistake. Thankfully, Rebecca, the Receptionist at outpatients A made phone calls and spoke with several people until she found someone that we could talk to about our situation. She was calm and efficient and we were very grateful for her input.

Eventually we spoke to a registrar who could see the mix up that had been made. He assured us that it would be sorted out and a letter sent to us. He gave us the results of the original biopsy, which were, thankfully good. Had it not been for the intervention of the very kind Receptionist Rebecca, we would not have been seen at all.

We left details of all of this with PALS and did not have to pay for our parking.

Please pass on our sincere thanks to the girl at the front desk who took the action, and please, let her managers know that she did a great job.

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Response from Jayne Kruszewski, Customer Relations Manager, Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear relative

Thank you for posting such a comprehensive comment. I was pleased to read your positive feedback regarding the research nurses, however I was very disappointed to read on and discover the mix-up surrounding your husband's appointment to receive his biopsy results, at what was already a very anxious time.

Clearly Rebecca ( from Outpatients) showed great initiative and empathy by speaking with staff, resulting in you speaking directly with a doctor enabling you to receive your results as planned, and thus diverting what would have been a very unsatisfactory and fruitless visit to the hospital for you both.

I am really pleased to see that your results were positive, and will ensure that your kind comments regarding both the research nurses and Rebecca are passed on to their respective department managers.

Many thanks


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