"Lack of communication at Glasgow Royal Infirmary Assisted Conception Unit"

About: Glasgow Royal Infirmary / Gynaecology

(as the patient),

We were referred to the Glasgow Royal Infirmary following a series of tests at Inverclyde hospital which established we would need IVF to conceive a baby.

Our first appointment was for my husband's semen analysis which was fine, the nurses were helpful and the corridor was decorated with photos of babies. It seemed nice.

Our second appointment was a less positive experience. It was located in a different part of the hospital which was very poorly signposted. We got lost and when we asked a couple of staff members for help they didn't know where we were going either.

Eventually we found our way there, down an old elevator into what felt like a basement area. We live on an island and after travelling from our home to the hospital for over two hours we were in and out in under ten minutes. The appointment consisted of going through all the same questions we had been asked at the referring hospital around six weeks beforehand. After taking a day off work for the appointment it felt like a bit of a waste of time. We also felt that the place was not very clean, particularly the toilets which did not have locks on the doors and overflowing bins. It just felt dirty.

We understand that there is a two year wait but communication from the hospital does not feel very good. We weren't told what the appointment was for, just that if we missed it we wouldn't be included on the waiting list, even though we'd been led to believe we were already on it.

Then last year I found on the news that there have been problems with the lab at the hospital. I have no idea how this is likely to affect us because the only information I have found about it is in news stories, a reassuring letter would have been useful just explaining what was happening and how this could impact our treatment, especially as I've recently learned (again, via a newspaper rather than the hospital) that the lab is not likely to resume there until the end of this year!

To top it all off yesterday we received a letter which was offering us treatment in Edinburgh due to the long wait in Glasgow. Unfortunately that's not practical for us, but what is worrying is that if we don't reply to the letter within 14 days of the date on it, then we will be removed from the waiting list. The letter was dated over a week ago but obviously wasn't sent until a couple of days before we received it. I dread to think how complicated it could have made things if we had been away for the week or unable to get our response posted right away.

As it stands I am worried that we won't receive a confirmation that we are still on the waiting list and so I am going to have to deal with the stress of chasing them up to find out whether or not the letter has been received.

IVF treatment is stressful enough with the long waits without having to deal with issues such as these and it does not fill me with confidence about how our treatment will be handled when we do finally reach the top of the waiting list.

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Response from Paul Cannon, Head of Administration, Acute Services Division, Greater Glasgow & Clyde NHS

Thank you for posting your feedback on the Patient Opinion site, it is greatly appreciated.

I was sorry to read that you had such a negative experience, and I will pass on your comments to those in charge of this service.

As part of the relocation of services to the Nuffield Hospital, a significant capital refurbishment programme is being undertaken at Glasgow Royal Infirmary which will see over £1m spent on the fabric of the department, which hopefully will go a long way to addressing your comments.

I can readily appreciate that the standard of facilities you found was not one that inspired confidence, however I do hope that the opportunity to refurbish the department / service will provide a better environment in the future.


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