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Walking out of an NHS clinic

(20 Posts)
Stansgran Mon 29-Jun-15 22:15:25

Because it was running 60minutes late. The man was sitting next to me,unshaven,sweaty and not even a patient. His wife was in a wheelchair and small and shrinking. The nurse upped the waiting time from 50 minutes to 60. The husband said I'm not waiting that long and stood up and wheeled her out. Didn't bother to tell the staff . Didn't bother to ask his wife's opinion. I know it's free at the point of contact and all that but presumably the wife needed to be seen and most of us know what orthopaedic clinics are like on Monday morning after the self destructive mayhem of the NE weekends. There's going to be a wait. I'm just still seething about that poor woman and the fact that they checked in but didn't say they were going. There were over 230 missed appointments at that clinic alone this month. I'm just venting here don't really expect a response. But we do pay for this service and we pay for the missed appointments.

durhamjen Mon 29-Jun-15 22:23:42

I would think if it was an hour late already, the staff would be relieved that they'd gone. Was it an appointment or a walk-in clinic?
I presume you told the staff that they had gone.

Anya Mon 29-Jun-15 22:47:33

If this woman had an appointment then it is disgraceful there was this kind of wait. Rather than walk out perhaps a query about what the hold up was.

If it was a walk in centre then we expect to wait and those who leave voluntarily probably ease the strain.

Nelliemoser Mon 29-Jun-15 22:55:00

You will never really know if the person in front of you has complications which need a longer examination or if the doctors or surgeons have been caught up in an emergency. Particularly in any hospital with a major trauma centre.

harrigran Mon 29-Jun-15 22:57:50

They do actively discourage you from waiting. I was sent to a walk in centre for an emergency chest x-ray and was told at reception " there is a very long wait, are you sure you want to wait" ? What were they expecting me to do , go away and go back the next day to sit again ? I get the distinct impression that we are just a nuisance to the NHS.

POGS Mon 29-Jun-15 23:03:05

I agree with your post Nellie.

I also agree with the last sentence of your OP Stansgran.

kittylester Tue 30-Jun-15 06:49:43

And, if DH's patients miss appointments they have to be 're-referred'!

Iam64 Tue 30-Jun-15 08:54:42

I shouldn't be shocked stansgran but I am.

I don't agree that patients are just a nuisance to the NHS (harrigran's post above).

Nelliemoser is right, we never know what is happening with the patient in front of us. I was that patient recently when I was given the emergency appointment with one of our GP's. The appointment in total took an hour and included an ECG which confirmed I needed immediate treatment. It must have played havoc with the GP's list and I remain grateful that I was given the time needed.

One of my daughter's had an emergency c-section because of complications with her unborn baby. A close friend is being treated for a DVT - I'm sure we could all list the positives which outweigh the grumbles imo

Mishap Tue 30-Jun-15 08:55:57

Only 60 minutes - I have waited far longer than that in orthopaedic clinics! - more like 3 hours.

This man did not consult his wife, which does seem high-handed.

Stansgran Tue 30-Jun-15 09:22:26

As I said it was a Monday morning and one consultant had been called to theatre. It wasn't a walkin clinic it was by appointment. Yes Mishap he just wheeled his wife out. She was a very self effacing type of old lady. I found that very upsetting in itself. I know I only spoke to her for a few minutes but I eavesdropped fairly shamelessly on those around me and on his conversation with her .

Soutra Tue 30-Jun-15 09:37:38

Most people know that hospital clinic times are a movable feast and come armed with book/kindle/water/coffee and bucket loads of patience. DH's appointments in London are regularly anything from 30-90 minutes late and the whiteboard at the desk advises accordingly so we are not surprised. Yes it can be annoying or frustrating but if there has been an emergency on the wards or in theatre and one of the consultants is called away or delayed,I just bear in mind that could have been DH . If is worth it to see the best medical practitioners.
Our local hospital, being smaller has the annoying habit of running on time, so we have to be sure to be early!
Like you, I feel sorry for the lady in the wheelchair, life for her must be hard enough without an impatient DH.

kittylester Tue 30-Jun-15 09:44:06

Scary to be dependent on someone like that. sad

Soutra Tue 30-Jun-15 09:45:56

Absolutely, how much (even) more helpless would you feel?

Iam64 Wed 01-Jul-15 08:31:36

Yes, dreadful to be dependent on someone with attitudes like that

Charleygirl Wed 01-Jul-15 09:46:45

My worst wait I think was at a Macular clinic where the wait was 5 hours. I could not read anything because the drops had blurred my eyes. That was appointment only!

Anya Thu 02-Jul-15 06:39:25

I wonder how many people don't bother to complain. Once, many years ago, I had to take time off work to take my 10 year old son to a clinic. I asked, and got, a 9.00 o'clock appointment to cause the keast disruption.

At 10.00 I was still waiting. When I enquired why I was told that all the appointments were for 9.00am hmm. So I took myself off to the hospital managers office, and complained about the so-called appointment system.

I had to remake my son's appointment but when next we arrived there was a large sign saying that if anyone had to wait more than 30 minutes would they please complete a certain form.

Guess what? We were seen on time.

Yes, some delay in certain departments is inevitable, but much is down to poor administration and other unacceptable practices.

petallus Thu 02-Jul-15 09:37:21

Last year I waited for two hours in an NHS orthopaedic clinic. I would have walked out but the appointment was to arrange for a hip replacement.

What infuriated me was that my appointment was for 9.30 in the morning and all the patients who came in later were seen first. In fact, by the time I was seen the actual consultant had packed up and was on his way out. I was the very last patient of his registrar.

Whenever I complained to a nurse I was just told they were busy that morning. The nurses seemed to stroll about chatting about personal matters and ignoring the patients if they possibly could (no eye contact).

I see I'm still fuming deep down grin

The hip op, at a different hospital, was excellent though.

Anya Thu 02-Jul-15 11:55:02

Never complain to the nurses petallus many of them don't give a damn, as you've just pointed out.

harrigran Thu 02-Jul-15 12:22:36

We have found, at our local hospital, that everyone is given the same time to attend the orthopaedic/fracture clinic and the staff decide in what order you are seen. The very nature of the clinics means that people are usually in discomfort so to make them sit for hours is downright cruel.

Deedaa Thu 02-Jul-15 21:36:07

We have sometimes waited more than an hour to see DH's consultant, but he has a 45 minute journey from the main hospital where he works and if he is on call that day he sometimes doesn't get away until after our clinic is supposed to have started. Last month we agreed to let someone else go in before us because they needed to get the paperwork sent off within the hour. We were sitting comfortably chatting to the nurses why not be helpful. To be honest I'm a lot more worried about the level of stress our consultant is working under than I am about our inconvenience.