How can you be 50 mins late for your clinic?

(90 Posts)
shade78 Wed 21-Nov-12 20:02:33

I took my dd to be weighed at the health visitor clinic today and was informed by the assistant that she was running late. Fine, I thought and settled down with the other 5 mums in the waiting room. My daughter has just turned 7 months and started solids, so life is a bit confusing re hunger and nap times, but she was in a fine mood at arrival. The health visitor didn't arrive until 50 mins after the start time! I am annoyed largely because this is not the first time this has happened, 2 previous appointments ran 45 mins + late.
I know really I know that times are tough and they are stretched, but I really feel this is part of a wider attitude of 'Mums with babies have nothing better to do.' If my doctors' practice were this late, there would be a room of very loud complainers that would be more listened to I'm sure...
I did phone the lead HV and complain and she said this HV had just got back from maternity and didn't know the clinic times. God could someone have told her? 6 mums waiting for nearly an hour for her royal highness HV.... grrr.....

Sirzy Wed 21-Nov-12 20:43:16

I think your last post is very true Chub. DS has spent a lot of time in hospitals and clincs and the way some people act is madness. The things which turn up at a and e which should be treated at home, the people who complain because the nurse can't drop everything to make a bottle of milk up etc etc.

Last time DS was in a peads clinc they had a DNA rate for the previous month on the board and it was over 20% - its no wonder they over book clinics if they are expecting 1 in 5 not to turn up.

shade78 Wed 21-Nov-12 20:43:45

Thanks for all your comments... all taken on board- yes I too think weighing is a bit paranoid for pfb. I was just annoyed at the lack of communication in the team, couldn't the lead have told her she was assigned to a clinic that morning? Hey ho... won't be doing that again!

XBenedict Wed 21-Nov-12 20:43:54

I agree with you Chub but unfortunately the pressure from above means the service is unable to meet patient expectations with the resources available.

Willdoitinaminute Wed 21-Nov-12 20:44:01

My mum was a HV. She was dedicated to her job and would give her home phone number to any mum she thought needed it. She was often to be found on the phone late at night reassuring a new mother. She also had her own family who had to be tended to when ill or had an emergency. She also suffered from equipment failure ie the car didn't start.
Most of us only ever come across HV when our children arrive. They do so much more. They are closely involved in child protection. They may seem like interfering busy bodies but without them so many vulnerable children would end up becoming statistics and headlines in the tabloids.
All health professionals are human even if they don't always seem so. They have lives outside work and contrary to popular belief their staff don't just hang them on the back of the door as they switch off the lights and leave at the end of the day.
Sorry for being preachy.

scampidoodle Wed 21-Nov-12 20:44:22

I agree with you, Chubfuddler. You've said it more succinctly than I would have done. And look what happens when anyone dares to complain... (or just have a moan).

McChristmasPants2012 Wed 21-Nov-12 20:44:46

Chub I wish people would get charged for missing appointments, I was reading the posters around my GP and it cost £20 for a missed appointment and last month 81 appointment was DNA

VivaLeBeaver Wed 21-Nov-12 20:45:31

Yes and in maternity if a patient doesn't turn up it actually makes more work. You have to ring them and try and rearrange an appt. you then have to go to the hospital, find their hospital notes in the filing room and document that you've rung and offered them another appt.

So rather than 10mins of your day been saved, it's more like 30 mins plus of your day is wasted.

Chubfuddler Wed 21-Nov-12 20:46:26

Oh yes I completely agree with a charge for missed appointments, it is not hard to phone or text to say you aren't coming.

procrastinor Wed 21-Nov-12 20:50:58

If she's been given the wrong times then that's hardly her fault.

But it's incredibly hard to manage patients within the NHS. My probably half of my clinics we run to time, then there's a few clinics that we standing around like numpties waiting for the next patient to turn up. Then there's some where we run an hour or two late. Because some patients need to have problems explained to them, diagnoses given, management plans broken down and admission arranged. How do you intend I sort that out? Give longer time slots but thereby have longer waiting lists and more time twiddling my thumbs.

HVs do important and unpredictable work. I can well imagine that they can run late because they put the patients needs first and would hope that others can understand.

On a side note, I had a patient complain they didn't get a cup of tea because we were busy with an arrest call on the patient in the bed next to them. Beggars belief.

heronsfly Wed 21-Nov-12 20:51:05

An hours wait for doc/nurse/midwife ect is the norm our surgery,and I cant believe that they are all always out on emergency calls,most of it is to a lack off general client care as other posters have said.
I had a phone call from our surgery the other day to book an appointment for a flu jab, patients are being given two minute slots and the very snooty receptionist told me to attend at' 9.26 PRECISELY'on Saturday any earlier or later and I will NOT be seen, I am very interested to see if they can run to time when it suits them .

VivaLeBeaver Wed 21-Nov-12 20:52:10

Surely you could arrive at 9:24 but just not be seen till9:26! grin

If they send you home for been 2 minutes early then that's bad.

I work for NHS (and I do run late because I cannot guarentee that my patients will turn up on time, get ready, be treated, get ready to leave and be out in 20 minutes. Plus the tidying up, swabbing down and note writing that I have to do).

WRT chardging for appointments- it would have to be a blanket all-or-nothing. If someone misses an appointment because their spouce was ill, is it fair to charge them? If they are kept late by a taxi, a hospital or GP visit?

I've frequently phoned a patient who hasn't attended, they will argue "No my appointment is tomorrow"
When I ask them to check, I get "Oh, well, I wasn't well today, I couldn't have come out today".

So if someone missed ,what's to stop them saying they were ill. We don't know hmm

BobblyGussets Wed 21-Nov-12 20:53:58

I was grateful to my HV when I was crazy with horrific PND. I was so grateful that they were ALWAYS so willing to visit me when I flipped my lid.

On the other hand, everyone is being unnecessarily harsh to the OPhmm. Can't you all remember when you first had a baby and your world almost ceased to exist as you knew it? Looking after a baby takes all your time and all your worries and interests are concentrated on baby rearing? I think a late baby clinic is annoying and if you are a new mother who is a bit on edge, a lack of regard for you time will be annoying. I remember what it was like OP. HVs do have other more important things to do, but when you are in your baby world worrying about feeding times, it can make you stressed. YANBU. You came on here to vent, you didn't kick of at clinic.

I don't see what Chubfudder had done wrong except to point out the difference in quality of service when paying and when not. Meh. She was just illustrating the fact that the standard of care/service that the OP received was substandard. This is not untrue, but an apology and an explanation from HV would have gone some way to salving the situation.

Sirzy Wed 21-Nov-12 20:55:09

With flu jabs it easier though because assuming everyone has had one before then it is simply a case of in and out.

with normal appointments it is impossible to know how long is needed. Some times you need a couple of minutes in and out, others someone may start pouring their heart out, or be upset about a diagnosis, or need a new treatment plan explained or anything - do you expect the doctor to just kick them out after their time is up?

When my DC had 2 see a Paed Consultant, we got there maybe 15 minutes before the time. They were weighed, measured, did a wee sample then sat in a small waiting room and waited. And waited.

There were 3 Consultants. There were 10 chairs. My DC and I were using 3 of them. Patients going in and out.
Our Paed consultant was late (ward round).

One hour and fifty minutes after our appointment time (not counting I was early), I asked when we would be seen. (I thought maybe we would be longer because they had to test the urine and fill in records).

Very rude member of staff "Who are you" she asked?
I was told "Oh, I thought you'd been seen"

If I'd been seen, why the feck would I sit nearly 2 hours.They walked past me every five minutes shock

<< Totally irrelevant rant there, but venting your angry feels better>>

LadyMaryChristmas Wed 21-Nov-12 21:07:37

I missed two appointments. They sent the appointment letters to the wrong address. I did tell them that I'd moved, both in A&E and on a ward. It's not always the patient's fault.

XBenedict Wed 21-Nov-12 21:09:21

I've also missed 2 appointments recently for DD's pre school booster as they arrived after the appointment date!

socharlotte Wed 21-Nov-12 21:10:23

The difference is my clients are paying.
so are we!! or I was last time I looked at my payslip!

Chubfuddler Wed 21-Nov-12 21:11:17

Well that's just adding grist to my "the nhs is a bit shit in some ways" mill tbh...

mamamibbo Wed 21-Nov-12 21:14:38

i understand its annoying but i always think, what if her last appointment was a new mum thats struggling and shes stayed to help her?

SugarplumMary Wed 21-Nov-12 21:15:26

its no wonder they over book clinics if they are expecting 1 in 5 not to turn up.
Friends and family with long term condition have all had the experience at least once of letter telling them of appointment or clinic time arrive after the clinic date has happened.

If I was the OP I’d have probably just tried the week after.

I usually assumed medical and density appointments will run late – hospital ones 2 /3 hours and I had that with young DC– and assume it is for a good reason. Though very occasionally it has become very clear to me there hasn’t been a good reason.

In the dept I work in the patients either phone for the appointment or if the next appointment is less than 6 weeks, we book it and write it on the appointment card.
Very few are posted out,

Still have a too high a DNA rate (though it will never be 0%

Sirzy Wed 21-Nov-12 21:21:02

70isalimit - that is how it works at the peads clincs we go to, and still they have such a high DNA rate.

VivaLeBeaver Wed 21-Nov-12 21:22:22

Socharlotte. Yes you do pay national insurance but you're not paying for that specific appt. if you were paying £50 to see the health visitor for that appt then no I don't think it would happen.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 21-Nov-12 21:22:26

People regularly wait twice as long as that to see consultants when they have actual genuine health problems, that tend to be more important than babies nap times.

It's horrible how long people are made to wait. In my experience, of NHS hospital appointments, it often because they are seeing private patients too, and they don't want them to have to wait. It's only going to get worse.

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