One in four patients needing specialist treatment having appointments changed at short notice
23% had specialist appointments cancelled up to THREE times
One in four patients is having a hospital appointment cancelled and moved back to a later date, a major survey has revealed.
Last year some 23 per cent had their consultation with a specialist postponed once, twice or even three times.
This was an increase on 2009, the last time a poll was conducted, when 21 per cent had their slots put back.
Room for improvement: Almost a quarter of those surveyed had a hospital appointment changed at the last minute
A poll of 72,000 patients by the Care
Quality Commission watchdog also reveals that half are waiting more
than a month to get a hospital appointment.
Nearly a third (31 per cent) said their symptoms got worse during this time.
Once seen, 36 per cent of patients
said they were not warned by doctors or nurses about potentially
dangerous side effects of their medication.
Complaint: Many patients felt their test results weren't explained to them properly
Another 33 per cent claim they were not told what ‘danger’ symptoms to look out for if their condition got worse.
The same proportion of patients said
hospital staff did not bother to inform them who they should contact if
they were worried about their illness or treatment.
Katherine Murphy, chief executive of
the Patients Association, said: ‘Patients are not at the centre of their
care if they are given inadequate or confusing information about their
‘This is an area that significantly
needs to improve if the Department of Health is to meet its pledge of
“no decision about me, without me”.’
The CQC claimed the survey showed
that some aspects of basic hospital care had improved since 2009 when a
similar poll was undertaken, but insisted there was still more to be
The survey also found that 17 per
cent of patients do not think their doctors know enough about their
medical history, including 5 per cent who said they knew ‘little’ or
Public health minister Anne Milton
said: ‘We want people to feel involved at every step of the care they
get in hospital. There really should be “no decision about me, without
‘It is clear that there is more to do
to improve the experiences of our patients. This is why we are
modernising the NHS to put patients first.’
** A hospital was forced to turn
ambulances away nearly 90 times because it could not cope with any more
patients, it has emerged.
Figures obtained by Channel 4 News
show that there were 87 ‘Service Transfers’ at Pinderfields Hospital in
Wakefield, which is run by Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust.
Paramedics were told to travel ten miles to the nearest hospital because its accident unit had ‘reached capacity’.