Patient anger at hospital wait

Harrow Times: Laxmichand Shah Laxmichand Shah

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.”

Comments (4)

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4:55pm Tue 31 Dec 13

rabbitz says...

I have always had great service from That hospital i think myself very lucky we have great healthcare in this country and its free so sometimes appointments are cancelled but thats life we need to stop complaining so much.
I have always had great service from That hospital i think myself very lucky we have great healthcare in this country and its free so sometimes appointments are cancelled but thats life we need to stop complaining so much. rabbitz

11:28am Sat 4 Jan 14

Elliegirl says...

I also use St Marks which is one of the the best gastro hospitals in the UK you often wait a long time for to see the doctor but when you think it doesn't just serve Harrow but most of the country you have to understand smetimes you have to wait . I do accept that what happened that day was not right but luckily Mr Shah only lives in Harrow i have met people in there that have come from Essex for appointments.
I also use St Marks which is one of the the best gastro hospitals in the UK you often wait a long time for to see the doctor but when you think it doesn't just serve Harrow but most of the country you have to understand smetimes you have to wait . I do accept that what happened that day was not right but luckily Mr Shah only lives in Harrow i have met people in there that have come from Essex for appointments. Elliegirl

12:59pm Sun 5 Jan 14

Sonoo Malkani says...

Really sorry to hear about the experience which Mr Shah has gone through.I fully endorse the excellent service most people receive and the huge pressures they undergo to try and fit in all the extra patients from various other hospitals.

I have myself spent years not just receiving treatment for myself and my family but also worked alongside doctors and nurses in a voluntary capacity and seen how most of them have to juggle huge work-loads.It is no joke!
On this occasion,they probably were short-staffed coming up to Christmas.

That said,one cannot simply turn a blind eye and condone what happened merely by apologising and offering to SIMPLY RE-IMBURSE FARES, for the inconvenience.That often incenses people!Remember,we are speaking about an elderly vulnerable 77 year old man who is probably feeling rather unwell and anxious.

The hospital needs to have a far more sensitive approach towards patients who have felt "let down"--however genuine the reason may be.They need to re-assure patients that this will not recur and that they will put checks in place so that others do not have to experience what maybe "routine" in some cases!That might help take the sting out of the tail.There must be a Paients Group which looks into these issues.

Both St Marks and Northwick Park Hospitals provide vital services for our communities and try very hard to deliver the best possible care.We must be very grateful for the difficult and challenging work they do and count our blessings.Don't know how we would manage without them!

However,there is ALWAYS room for improvement ---in most hospitals.Maybe a better,more sensitive way of engaging with patients who have been upset
needs to be put into place and the routine hospital format abandoned.Needs thinking through!Patients need to contribute more to their support group at the hospital and help iron out such issues skilfully.

Mr Shah may be able to give you a hint of what might have been more acceptable.Of course,advance warning of a cancelled appointment would be the first option!I am sure this matter could have been better resolved.Surely, we cannot have patients moving away to other hospitals,leaving the problem for others to follow some time in the future.

My very best wishes to our excellent local hospitals for the New Year.

I am sure Director of Operations Tina Benson will take on board these comments made in a spirit of good-will.It's about COMMUNICATION,COMMUN
ICATION COMMUNICATION!!
Really sorry to hear about the experience which Mr Shah has gone through.I fully endorse the excellent service most people receive and the huge pressures they undergo to try and fit in all the extra patients from various other hospitals. I have myself spent years not just receiving treatment for myself and my family but also worked alongside doctors and nurses in a voluntary capacity and seen how most of them have to juggle huge work-loads.It is no joke! On this occasion,they probably were short-staffed coming up to Christmas. That said,one cannot simply turn a blind eye and condone what happened merely by apologising and offering to SIMPLY RE-IMBURSE FARES, for the inconvenience.That often incenses people!Remember,we are speaking about an elderly vulnerable 77 year old man who is probably feeling rather unwell and anxious. The hospital needs to have a far more sensitive approach towards patients who have felt "let down"--however genuine the reason may be.They need to re-assure patients that this will not recur and that they will put checks in place so that others do not have to experience what maybe "routine" in some cases!That might help take the sting out of the tail.There must be a Paients Group which looks into these issues. Both St Marks and Northwick Park Hospitals provide vital services for our communities and try very hard to deliver the best possible care.We must be very grateful for the difficult and challenging work they do and count our blessings.Don't know how we would manage without them! However,there is ALWAYS room for improvement ---in most hospitals.Maybe a better,more sensitive way of engaging with patients who have been upset needs to be put into place and the routine hospital format abandoned.Needs thinking through!Patients need to contribute more to their support group at the hospital and help iron out such issues skilfully. Mr Shah may be able to give you a hint of what might have been more acceptable.Of course,advance warning of a cancelled appointment would be the first option!I am sure this matter could have been better resolved.Surely, we cannot have patients moving away to other hospitals,leaving the problem for others to follow some time in the future. My very best wishes to our excellent local hospitals for the New Year. I am sure Director of Operations Tina Benson will take on board these comments made in a spirit of good-will.It's about COMMUNICATION,COMMUN ICATION COMMUNICATION!! Sonoo Malkani

7:58am Tue 7 Jan 14

rabbitz says...

Another long winded rambling comment Sonoo!
Another long winded rambling comment Sonoo! rabbitz

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