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Patient anger at hospital wait
A pensioner was left fuming after hospital staff failed to tell him no doctor was on duty to see him - three hours after he arrived for his appointment.
Laxmichand Shah, of Bideford Close, Edgware, was due to have an endoscopy at St Mark’s Hospital, in Harrow, on Monday, December 23.
But despite arriving 30 minutes early for his appointment, reception staff failed to warn him his appointment had been cancelled.
The 77-year-old left his house at 11.30am to take two buses to arrive at the Watford Road hospital in time for the 1.30pm appointment.
He said: “I am very disappointed and unhappy. I waited till 3.30pm and no one called me to see the doctor or assistant.
“I went to ask the nurse in the waiting room as why there was so much delay to call me? A male nurse went in to see the doctor and came back.
“He told me my usual doctor was not in the office but I agreed to wait because other clinic team member will handle my case.
“On my request he again went to doctor’s office and said that there was NO other doctor on duty in the office today and the appointment was cancelled now.”
Dejected, Mr Shah left the hospital just after 4pm and did not arrive home until 6.30pm.
He added: “The simple lack of communication with its patients is staggering. I wasted nearly eight hours from house to house.
“Even in A&E Department it takes about four hours and this was completely unacceptable and a total mess.
“I have asked the hospital to transfer my details to Edgware Community Hospital. I do not blame any individuals but the system of communication at the hospital itself.”
In response, director of operations at North West London Hospitals NHS Trust, Tina Benson, said: “I would like to say sorry to Mr Shah. What happened was not acceptable and we understand his annoyance and frustration.
“The clinician who was due to see patients in this outpatient clinic was not available and we are currently investigating this.
“Despite our best efforts we were unable to find another clinician to run the clinic at such short notice and therefore had to cancel four appointments on the day. We are sorry that it took a long time on the day for this to be communicated to Mr Shah.
“Patients affected are being reimbursed their travel costs and we have provided them with another date for their appointment as a matter of urgency.
“We have contacted Mr Shah to apologise.”
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