Outpatients full of praise for treatment

A patient and nurse in thewOutpatients Department at Sheffield Hallamshire Hospital
A patient and nurse in thewOutpatients Department at Sheffield Hallamshire Hospital

JANET Blackburn can speak from experience where being a hospital outpatient is concerned.

The childminder from Hillsborough has attended many appointments after being diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2010, and is now clear of the illness following treatment at the Northern General, Weston Park and Royal Hallamshire hospitals.

Janet, aged 57, said she felt her good experiences matched the results of the new Care Quality Commission survey - in which outpatients rated their overall impression of the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust as almost 10 out of 10.

“My treatment was absolutely beyond belief,” said Janet, a grandmother and mum-of-two.

“It was totally second to none.”

She agreed with the survey’s findings which revealed many outpatients in Sheffield thought they had been treated with respect and dignity.

“I’d give them 10 out of 10 for that,” she said. “I’ve never found anybody that hasn’t put me first, it’s very good.”

The poll found many outpatients thought they were not kept well-informed enough if their appointments were delayed - but Janet said her experience with late appointments was better at Weston Park than at the Hallamshire.

“At Weston Park if there is a delay they will write on a board what the reason is and how long the wait will be,” she said.

“They’re full of apologies when they are late, though, and the nurse who takes you through apologises profusely.

“I won’t say I’ve ever been left high and dry.

“At the Hallamshire it isn’t written on a board, but 20 minutes late is the longest it’s been.”

Rachael Oates, 38, from Ecclesfield, has also attended countless appointments to treat her Crohn’s Disease and to deal with her 16-year-old son Adam’s juvenile arthritis.

“They’ve always been fantastic with outpatient appointments,” she said.

“I can be waiting quite a long time though, when my appointment is late.

“I can be waiting an hour and a half, or two hours, and you’re sitting wondering, ‘Am I being forgotten?’.

“The doctors are great when you get in there, though, they’re always really sorry.”

Rachael, a housewife, said she visits the Hallamshire and the Northern General for regular consultations, blood tests and reviews.

“The care we’ve received over the last 10 years has been really good,” she said.

“They do treat you with respect and dignity. The consultants go above and beyond to prevent any embarrassment.”