"Apalling communication and no respect for..."

About: Tameside General Hospital

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Was taken into this hospital by ambulance in February with extreme pain. Ambulance alone took 2 and a half hours to arrive, I live approximately 15 minutes drive away from this hospital. Was told it may be kidney stones. Catalogue of disaster. details inputted wrong at reception meaning that the lab would not process my blood samples. Not informed of results. Bedside manner of doctors atrocious. I was not even offered pain relief. Told them I also had upper abdominal pain, it was agreed that this could be gall bladder, potentially gall stones, but that I would need to go to my GP with that as they could only deal with one issue (What?!) Transferred to another hospital in a different PCT with no explanation. Recently had a follow up appointment at Tameside Gen Urology clinic

Here is the catalogue of errors from just one appointment:

- Receptionist told me my appointment had been cancelled and rescheduled for next month. I said I knew nothing of this, she decided to argue saying a letter had been sent out. I asked to speak to a senior member of staff responsible for the administration, or to have their contact details. As if by magic, she 'finds' me on another system where my appointment is still valid, apologises for the 'mistake' and sends me to the waiting area telling me she has informed the clinic that I am there.

- 2 hours later I am still waiting. Notice in the waiting area attached to the nurse station desk states that the doctor running the clinic likes to spend longer with patients than allocated so the clinic will run late. If you cant wait, speak to staff to make another appointment (begs the question what's the point if it will be similarly disregarded at the next clinic; what's the point in appointments at all?). Equally there are no staff around to ask.

- finally saw a member of staff, so went up to ask her what was happening. I said "excuse me" she completely ignored me until she had finished what she was doing then turned to me and said "What". I asked about my appointment as the electronic signage suggests you do if you have a question about your appointment. the response? "I'm not running that clinic". I asked her to please find someone that was as I consider 2 hours to be unacceptable delay in terms of 'running late'.

- 30 seconds later called in by a nurse who says I am not on anyone's system and claims reception did not tell her I was there. Apologises for 'delay' and leaves me in room whilst she "find[s] out what's going on".

- doctor arrives, tells me she was busy with patients at another clinic in another borough/ PCT to whom she has a duty of care. What about Doc to me and those in this clinic? notes are wrong, information is missing. Thinks I am there for Gall stones. Had to ring another hospital for ultrasound results. Dates wrong. Had I arrived 2 hours late for my appointment I would not have been seen, but its OK for them to keep me for over 2 hours and to disregard appmnt. times. Disgusting and disrespectful.

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Response from Peter Denton, Healthwatch Manager, Healthwatch Tameside

Thank you for sharing this story - I hope you are feeling better now.

Healthwatch is independent of the NHS and we have two main roles. One is to develop and provide an information signposting service to help people to choose the right care for them. The other is to gather and analyse patient experiences so we can identify and influence changes in services when they are needed.

If you would like to give any more detailed feedback to us this will help us to understand how we might be able to influence improvements, please contact info@healthwatchtameside.co.uk or visit www.healthwatchtameside.co.uk

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Response from Tameside General Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience on the NHS Choices website. I was disheartened to read your experiences and clearly there are several areas that I would like to investigate as this is not what we aspire to at Tameside General Hospital. I would urge you to contact the Complaints department on 0161 922 6025 in order that we can begin an investigation. John Goodenough Director of Nursing ‘’Would you like to help the hospital to improve its services further? We are currently looking for patients and carers to become involved in a development called “Patient Stories”. We want to know more about our services from the point of view of those who received them – what was good, bad, what could be improved, what should be changed. Want to know more about what’s involved? Please contact John Goodenough, Director of Nursing at John.Goodenough@tgh.nhs.uk

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