Following engagement activity in October 2017, an Engagement Officer (EO) made numerous comments/observations around the Breast Clinic at Queens Hospital, Burton – which included:
- On entering the department it took over one minute before the receptionist acknowledged arrival at the desk
- There appeared to be long waits for appointments once arrived, with many patients explaining that had not been informed or kept up to date with the delay
- No offers for refreshments were made, however, it was explained that a volunteer is usually available to do this.
This feedback was passed on to the Advanced Nurse Practitioner for the Breast Care Unit who discussed it with the Surgical Clinical Matron. Healthwatch received a response to say that the unit had recently introduced a co-ordinator role which involved a healthcare assistant working with the receptionist to ensure that patients were greeted in a timely manner and kept informed about any possible delay they may be facing.
In a return visit to the unit in May 2018 Healthwatch found that patients were acknowledged immediately upon arrival and that all staff were very welcoming. There was a notice board which stated the delays for clinics, including an estimate of additional waiting times as well as a nurse that came into the waiting area to verbally update patients on the delays.
Drinks were made readily available to patients and feedback from people in the waiting area was unanimously positive. There did not appear to be any patients waiting a considerable amount of time beyond that which was stated in their appointment letter.