"being treated as a name and number"

About: Derriford Hospital / Cardiology

(as the patient),

Recently I went for a coronary angiogram in bickleigh ward arriving on time at 0900hrs and was directed to a waiting room with 10 elderly people like myself.

the room had too many chairs for the size of room and I was informed there MIGHT be a delay while they sorted out some beds.

After 2hrs 15mins A nurse entered the room to say sorry. (nowadays that appears to be the only excuse for bad service but nothing will be done so it doesn't happen again) and to tell three of us that they couldnt do the procedure today and come back two weeks later.

Its seems obvious to me that the admissions where over booked to meet "targets" not taking into account emergency input. That is understandable but they must have had a good idea they couldnt cope and could have informed people not to set out from home but give them a earliest new appointment.

On a personal note I suffer from multiple medical conditions and the last thing I need is stress.

So in future do not treat patients as names and numbers which I felt Id been treated as.

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Response from Mary Anderson, Senior Quality Facilitator, Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust

Good afternoon and thank you for your message.

Firstly, can I apologise that your angiogram could not go ahead as planned when you recently attended Bickleigh Ward. I was very sorry to learn that you felt as though patients, including yourself, were treated like names and numbers and I would like to reassure you that cancellations of surgery or procedures are never undertaken lightly. We want patients to feel cared for at what we recognise is a stressful time.

You will no doubt be aware from the recent coverage in the media that along with other hospitals, Derriford Hospital has been under extreme pressure as a result of a huge number of emergency admissions. You make a very good point that in the knowledge that we will expect emergency admissions, it would seem sensible to at least warn patients before they set out for the hospital that their surgery/procedure is unlikely to proceed that day. Please be assured that your comments will be forwarded to the Directorate Manager, Clinical Director and Matron of the Directorate but I know that they would want me to extend their sincere apologies to you for the distress and inconvenience caused.

The doctors commence their ward rounds early in the morning to ensure that prompt arrangements can be made for patients who are medically fit to go home. This is an important part of the daily routine at the hospital because we know that planned and emergency admissions all need to be treated. However, particularly in the past few weeks, the numbers of emergency admissions have exceeded expectations and this has, regrettably, resulted in a higher number of cancellations, which is disappointing to everyone concerned.

I note that you suffer with multiple medical conditions and would be happy to see if there is anything we can do to assist. If you would like to contact me personally to discuss your concerns in more detail, my direct dial is 01752 439751. I can also be contacted via the PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison team) on 01752 439884.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kindest regards


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