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NHS Customer Service could do better .


Ubique
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Before I get verbally attacked by posting mine and Mrs Ubiques experience with the NHS today I will add that until today we have always been very satisfied with the service we received , having said that , the last time I was in Hereford Hospital was in 1968 - I accept that I have been blessed with fairly good health . Mrs U has has a series of operations over the last 35 years but still retains good health .

 

Today I had a Dental Appointment ( NHS checkup ) at 10.10am , Mrs U had a County Hospital appointment at 11.30 . It would take us 15 / 20 minutes to cross town , park in Rogers supermarket car park for a £1 and walk across to the hospital . Well that was the plan .

I reported for my dental appointment at 10am ready for my 10.10 appointment , reported in and told to wait in the Waiting Room . At 1045am , 35 minutes after my appointment I had to go to reception and say that as I had to get my wife to the hospital on time ( she was , quite understandably getting a bit stressed ) it was apparent that I would not be able to have the checkup and drive Mrs U to the hospital for her 11.30 appointment.

Well , we arrived at the hospital at 11.20 , my wife wasn't sure where to go so she approached the lady on Reception ( not one of the lovely volunteers ) . This lady was using her keyboard - after a short period of time this lady looked up at my wife - then, without saying a word looked back downto her keyboard - my wife thought words to the effect , that was quite bad manners and walked off. She eventually found the correct location , arriving dead on 11.30 .....only to be told that they were running

1 hour 15 minutes behind time ...........! When she finally got to see the Consulant she couldn't speak highly enough of him , he gave her confidence for her forthcoming surgery .

There was another situation with me and my two hearing aids in the audio dept but think I have moaned enough !

We arrived home at 1.15pm .

 

We accept fully that emergencies do occur in hospitals which cause delays but ......!

I know it's a rant but ,gosh , do I feel better for it - oh! My dental checkup - well they tell me that the first time they can get me in is at the end of February . Not worth complaining to anybody or even filling in a Survey .

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Not a great day then!

 

I can't say much about clinic waiting times.... sometimes good, sometimes not. As you say yourself, we don't know what is going on 'behind the scenes' regarding emergencies, staff cover etc. I recall a couple of years back somebody telling me they were waiting to see a consultant. Time was marching on, and eventually one by one folks were called back to the desk and given new appointments. Turns out the consultant cycled into work, had come off his bike, broken his leg and was in surgery himself.... so we can never guess at what's happened on a particular day!

 

 I'm pleased to hear that when Mrs U. saw the consultant, she felt reassured that she would be in safe hands. (Concerned though, that she needs surgery....???)

 

There's no excuse however, for being blatantly ignored at reception! Good manners cost nothing, and a smile and a friendly face does a lot to put folks at ease.

 

I hope your next visit is a better experience. Sending a big hug to Mrs U.

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Dippy, yes to your question. My role is to "Enter and View" nursing homes, wards at Hereford, Ledbury, Bromyard and Ross Hospitals, to ascertain the standards in these places and report back to the council. Greenknight, I did not attend this particular meeting as I was already involved in the new policy for Wye ward, it's a stroke unit and the unit was being revamped, for the better in my opinion. For the record, Hereford Health-watch is not a substitute for the Care and Quality Commission (CQC), but is a local inspectorate that can, if it is needed, pass on failings to the CQC. 

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Dippy, yes to your question. My role is to "Enter and View" nursing homes, wards at Hereford, Ledbury, Bromyard and Ross Hospitals, to ascertain the standards in these places and report back to the council. Greenknight, I did not attend this particular meeting as I was already involved in the new policy for Wye ward, it's a stroke unit and the unit was being revamped, for the better in my opinion. For the record, Hereford Health-watch is not a substitute for the Care and Quality Commission (CQC), but is a local inspectorate that can, if it is needed, pass on failings to the CQC.

 

I'm interested to hear about the mental health involvement particularly as much is managed by Trusts external to Hereford.

Does Health Watch Hereford know when the CQC report on Wye Valley is due?

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Greenknight, external to Herefordshire is not my remit, however, I do have reports on various Trusts. I would  suggest if you need explicit details on a certain premise, then we could talk, unofficially, or you could request details through official channels. A lot of what I do is public knowledge, if you know where to look, but some reports have to be "private", if internal disciplinary measures are taken/hidden! When you say "Wye Valley" what precisly do you mean? Any how, if there is a private way to meet or confer, I'm willing. I work shifts, but can sink a pint on my day off. :Thumbs-Up:  :Grin:

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Evening Slim!

 

This is really interesting.... and I am extremely nosey!

 

Could I ask whether it's within your remit, or indeed the remit of Hereford Health Watch, to recommend increasing provision/resources, particularly in regard to mental health... and specifically CAMHS??

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Interesting to note that it has been announced today that the hospital is still in Special Measures after over a year -

 

Perhaps confirms my comments at the start of this topic. - will say again that when Mrs U finally saw her Consulant she finally thought , somebody cares ( of course , she still needs to be an inpatient in a few weeks time )

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I am disappointed because it's not a large district hospital by any means. I can understand when larger sites with more specialty departments struggle to get their house in order but Wye Valley NHS Trust is one of the smallest in the country and however you look at it a continuation of special measures won't look good on any senior managers CV and it is now joined a small elite club of failing hospitals.

 

Its in the interest of all healthcare groups to ensure the preservation of this hospital and please don't be fooled as I am sure that both the CCG and local healthwatch set up should take some responsibility after all one is using the clinical facilities and the other observing and reporting what's going on.Sadly I have not seen expressions of concern from either group certainly from a public perspective.

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It's not all doom and gloom. Some Improvements have been made, and the new Gilwern Unit is up and running.

 

I feel it is right that the hospital remains in special measures, as clearly much more still needs to be done. However... let's not lose sight that for much of the time, we all benefit from a great service at our NHS hospital.

 

I'd rather work towards improving our hospital, than go down the road of a privatized health service.

 

It will be interesting to hear the views of our MP's.....

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Agreed Dippy and I know it was acknowledged as a caring hospital however in my day that statement was treated as given. The NHS would never remove this hospital it can't afford to make such a decision as in Stafford but I would ask the question as to why the first element of special measures failed to resolve the issues.

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After having a major operation  16 months ago and chemo after that, I have very little bad to say about the hospital or the NHS. I was treated with dignity and respect at all times. Maybe i was lucky int he way I was treated, but I don't think so.

The hospital went into special measures just before I went in for the operation, yes it did go through my mind at the time.

 

My only minor complaint is sometimes I was kept waiting for a while longer than I would have liked at appointments.

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Evening Adrian, I had major surgery 2 years ago. I was treated superbly. My aftercare was second to none, and all the staff treated me with care and respect.(And I know I'm not an easy patient! Very nervous, lots of questions.... and wanting to leave before I was fit to be dis charged).

 

It's always good to be able to put your hand on your heart, and recommend your local NHS....I guess we can both do that.

 

It's only right that areas for improvement are highlighted, but equally as important that the positives are put in the spotlight too.

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Evening Adrian, I had major surgery 2 years ago. I was treated superbly. My aftercare was second to none, and all the staff treated me with care and respect.(And I know I'm not an easy patient! Very nervous, lots of questions.... and wanting to leave before I was fit to be dis charged).

 

It's always good to be able to put your hand on your heart, and recommend your local NHS....I guess we can both do that.

 

It's only right that areas for improvement are highlighted, but equally as important that the positives are put in the spotlight too.

I agree with you. I hope I was a good patient, i tried not to bother the staff unless I really had to, not like someone else on the ward that wanted the staff even to move things on their table.

I do know that when I woke up from the operation I wanted to get off the trolley, i was told that by a nurse, all i remember from that is me saying I am hot. i woke up again in my bed with a fan blowing nice cool air onto me. 

 

I am not denying that some things need to be improved and some people have had a bad experience with the NHS, I do think that some of these are not the front line staff fault.

Look at  A&E, people still go down there for minor things, which can be dealt with by their GP or at one of the walk in centres,

 

I also have to say the Macmillan Renton  suit is a godsend and the staff is great.

 

I hope you have recovered from your op and good health to you.

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You're so right, Adrian.

 

Misuse of the services A and E provide is a continuing issue. Whether that be turning up, or ringing an ambulance first.... it's a problem that needs a radical rethink if we are to move forwards.

 

Thank you for your kind wishes, I'm absolutely fine! Sending you my warmest regards, and a hope that your recovery continues.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Two more reports this evening about discharge of patients that would seem inappropriate. Asked for them to be put in writing and with details. Some times hear horror stories some weeks after patients home. Problem is unless you have medical or nursing/careering experience, and you/your relatives are articulate and do not mind a fight, it is likely you will not be sure what should have happened to you in hospital and feel you do not have the capacity to speak out.!

At the Health & Social Care Overview & Scrutiny Committee this week, I again suggested that there should be three 'Advocates' , walking the wards, , A&E, corridors, with ability to question staff, the most senior consultant if need be, or the newest cleaner, as to why something is not right. Independent of WVHT. We will wait to see.......!

 

On a different but related subject. At the Audit & Governance Committee this week, I noticed that the auditors had highlighted that some of the agency social workers employed by the council, had serious gaps in their work CVs while three had not been able to provide references!! So that's comforting for us all! We can have full confidence in our social carers and HR!

I have asked the Directors of Adult and Children's Services to report thier findings into how this happened and an assurance that these people no longer work in Herefordshire.

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Well personally I think they need to promote what they do because most of jo public would not have a clue and to be honest I'm not really sure so perhaps you can give me an idea what they have recently achieved Chris. After all the status quo within the Wye Valley NHS Trust remains (special measures), plenty of senior clinical posts remain vacant, threatened closures of minor injury units together with GP access as discussed.

I was intrigued to hear that Slim is a member and been on this site a while but never really engaged on many of the NHS topics discussed.

 

To be honest how often do you see public comments from HW responding to events within our local acute healthcare system...it would/could reassure the public that someone is keeping an eye on what's going on.

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Greenknight. I am a volunteer with Hereford Health watch and subsequently answer to the board, chaired by Paul, ( as known to Mr Chappell). I cannot promulgate findings on a Public Website. There is much more information on the website, including our findings of premises attended. You ask why I have not commented on NHS issues on this august site. I am a volunteer and have a knowledge of what I am asked to inspect or gather information on, not an in depth medical financial or political knowledge on WVNHS Trust. I can, however, as stated before on this thread, pass comments to the right people. It does not matter if you want to state a personal grievance, or a complaint from another, I cannot deal with it, but, I do promise to pass on the information to the correct people. Then a decision may be made to organise a visit to said department, hospital ward or care-home to ascertain if the claims are valid. 

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  • 1 month later...

Dippy and Greenknight  this may be of interest.

 

 Healthwatch has organised a Mental Health Question Time Event to be held at the 6th Form College, but which is open to the public and pupils alike. We would be delighted if you would like to attend.

Details for the event as follows:

“This is your chance to have your say and ask questions of expert panellists about mental health and emotional wellbeing  services: what is available for you, how to access them, and how might they be improved for the future.

With the recommissioning of mental health services just around the corner, now is the ideal time to have your say and for a fresh look at how best to provide mental health services in the county.â€

This event is for adults, young people and families - Your voice counts.

Panellists:

CCG

-          Jade Brooks - Programme Manager for children's services & mental health services

-          Dr Simon Lennane - Mental Health GP Lead 

2Gether NHS Foundation Trust - The NHS Trust responsible for delivering acute mental health hospital services, community mental health services, and child and adolescent mental health services in Herefordshire

-          Dr Chris Fear - Medical Director

-          Dr Jane Melton - Director of Engagement & Integration

Addaction - The organisation that provides drug and alcohol support services in Herefordshire

-          Emma Paver - Addiction worker

Herefordshire Mind - Mental Health Charity providing information, advice and support

-          Richard Kelly - Executive Director

When Tuesday 22nd March, 12.45-2.00pm

Where Performing Arts Centre, Hereford 6th Form College

 

Attendees are required to sign up via the EventBrite page link here:https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/healthwatch-question-time-focus-on-mental-health-emotional-wellbeing-tickets-21450089796?ref=ecount

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Hi Slim, yes I knew this event was coming up.

 

Disappointed that the time has been set when most folks are working.... ironically in areas that are so stretched there is no cover to allow staff to attend!

 

Still, it's good that those in charge are making themselves available to discuss this extremely important issue. I hope it's well attended, and that those who are able to go, have some searching questions for the panel.

 

Thanks for posting the info on Hereford Voice!

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