"Fracture Clinic Consultant Appointment"

About: Royal Preston Hospital

Anything else?

Attended the fracture clinic 22 Mar 13 for an appointment with the consultant scheduled for 2.10pm.

On arrival the notice board showed the consultant I had come to see was 'not in the unit' and there was no indication of any running behind with appointments. Hence I assumed (correctly) I would be seen by one of his team. Having checked in at the reception desk I was given a pager and waited to be called.

After an hour I queried whether appointments were running late and after checking they wrote 50 mins delay on the board. Eventually I was called forward 1hr 35 mins after my appointment time, with the board still showing 50mins delay.

I realise delays may well occur to appointments and don't particularly mind, assuming it's for a good reason. When they happen it is very important to keep patients informed so they that they can manage the medical condition that brought them to the hospital. In my case, not knowing, I was forced to wait in very uncomfortable seating whilst suffering severe back pain and could barely walk by the time I was called.

After the appointment I asked why there was no accurate waiting time shown and was told by a nurse that the senior consultant didn't want delays highlighted on the board. In my opinion this causes unnecessary suffering. It is crucial to keep people informed.

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Response from Royal Preston Hospital

Thank you for providing feedback about the care and treatment we provide. We have recently reviewed this practice and will be making some improvements to how we manage outpatient clinics. Many patients see a number of staff during their outpatient appointment, for example for diagnostic tests before they see a consultant, so it's difficult to say how late a clinic is actually running because patients are at different stages of the process. We appreciate that this is frustrating and expect clinic staff to keep patients informed about how long their appointment will last and to provide reasons for any delays. Please do advise clinic staff if you are in pain as we will do what we can to make your wait more comfortable.

If you would like to provide further details, or would like a personal response, please email customer.care@lthtr.nhs.uk, or you can speak with our PALS team on 01772 522972.

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