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Could you please read my letter of complaint to hospital and advice

(18 Posts)
strawberrycake Fri 10-Dec-10 11:44:24

Thank you, it's addressed to PALS

RE: xxxxxxxx Hospital Number:xxxxxxxx

Dear Sir/ Madam,

I am writing to both make a complaint and clear up my son's records at xxxxxxxx Hospital.

On xxxxxxx my son, xxxxxx, had an appointment with xxxxxxxxxxxxx at 11.40. We arrived in good time for the appointment, around 15 minutes early, and I handed my appointment letter to the gentleman at the desk and was asked to wait in the waiting room with my son. We then waited an unnecessarily long time due to apparently xxxxx not being informed that we had arrived. After waiting around 40 minutes I asked at the desk if we could be told how long the wait would be, as my 5 month old son was becoming very upset unable to sleep in the noisy waiting room. I asked if I had time to walk him to sleep in his buggy outside. We were told that there was no way of knowing. In this time I began to see patients arriving after us go in to see xxxxxn before us. I asked again after an hour, and after an hour and a half if we could be given a rough idea of waiting times. I was told, in a slightly patronising way, that each child would get as long as they needed for their appointment and we'd be seen when their appointments were finished.

By 1.40pm there were no other people in the waiting room and a nurse appeared to be tidying up so I asked her about the appointment. She left and within minutes xxxx came in to inform us we was unaware we were there and had written a letter about our non-attendance! She was apologetic and informed me she was about to leave so we were lucky she was still there. Despite her being apologetic the appointment was not as productive as it could have been as after 2 hours in a waiting room with a crying baby and also now being very late for work I was upset and stressed and forgot a number of points I wanted to raise. I had not eaten or drunk in hours as I did not expect to be there so long plus I had my work asking why I had not arrived. My son spent most of the two hours being repeatedly woken up by hospital noise and had been distressed for a large part of out wait and then slept through our appointment so no length or weight was taken. The waiting list for appointments is around 4 months so I will not be able to ask these questions until then, namely:

-Regarding foods with Soya
-Constant nappy rash since changing milk
-My sons overall fall from the 75th to 2nd centile (I have weighed him this week and he has maintained the 2nd), is concentrating his milk still a possibility?
-Cough/ wheezing for two months, is this possibly linked to an allergy?

I have now, as a further issue, not been able to book the next appointment for my son as we have been discharged from xxxxx as we 'did not attend'. This is despite xxxxx verbally telling us to book another appointment for 6 months time. Overall my dealings with the hospital have been difficult and stressful with appointments being cancelled, and rebooked. I have been told to book review appointments in 4 weeks (I have this in writing) then have had to wait 10 weeks to book one. I have then had answer phone messages asking me to book this appointment sooner as it needs to be in 4 weeks time, then all knowledge of the phone being denied when I rung back an hour after the message. Also we are down as cancelling an appointment on xxxxxx, which the hospital, not myself, cancelled. It has been a stressful time worrying about my son' s feeding problems and weight gain at such a young age and dealing with xxxx has caused me a lot of upset of a number of occasions. I have been stuck between receptionists giving me one bit of information, another from txxxx and then also having health visitors at my local clinic pushing for why I haven't followed up/ made appointments problems. A basic level of care could be improved when dealing with young babies and their mothers at what is already a difficult and stressful time for the families you are dealing with and a particularly emotional period personally as a new mother.

I would like these questions and points to be addressed:

-Has my son been discharged? If this is the case, why has he been discharged without me being informed and has his GP been contacted to say he's discharged?

-If he is discharged where can I turn to for support in the future regarding re-introducing dairy to his diet at some point and feeding problems?

-Will he still be getting nutramigen stage 2 milk prescribed and will the dietician still be contacting his GP to recommend the change of milk?

-What is the procedure for signing patients in when they arrive at children's outpatients? Is it written down or verbally communicated they have arrived, how was it not communicated we had arrived despite the numerous times I enquired at reception?

I have already raised the above questions either at the hospital or with the receptionist on the phone (who was as helpful as she could be) but I have not got a clear answer.


strawberrycake Fri 10-Dec-10 11:44:52

Thank you if you take the time to read and advise, it is long.

activate Fri 10-Dec-10 11:50:43

It is too long and is it really necessary

surely your letter should be

Dear Sir

I am writing to request an immediate appointment with xxx.

On xxx I arrived for my son's 9am appointment with yyy and reported to reception where I handed in our appointment letter. Despite numerous requests for an update on waiting times over the next x hours we were not seen. When the clinic closed I was advised by a nurse that she had marked us as not present.

I am disgusted at this incompetence which lead to an extremely uncomfortable wasted morning for both my baby son and myself.

I require an urgent appointment to discuss outstanding issues and will expect to hear from you within by 15 December and to have an appointment before Christmas.

Send it recorded
Phone up next day to ensure receipt ask about appointment
phone up next day ask about appointment

EatingAngelPie Fri 10-Dec-10 11:50:46

good, you have made it clear what went wrong, and asked for information that you need.

is there any specific referral you are after that you could request too?

strawberrycake Fri 10-Dec-10 11:52:56

sorry, damn, we were seen in the end.

As for phoning, I'd estimate around 10 calls in total without response.

strawberrycake Fri 10-Dec-10 11:54:55

also i've tried many times to get appoinments before, just a blanket no there are none until xxx.

EatingAngelPie Fri 10-Dec-10 12:17:38

"I have now, as a further issue, not been able to book the next appointment for my son as we have been discharged from xxxxx as we 'did not attend'. "

this is the truly disgraceful bit - keeping you waiting = very ba - but not sorting out their mistake when they realise it is even worse!

this you should highlight.

strawberrycake Fri 10-Dec-10 12:20:45

IT's what sent me over the edge a bit, keeping me waiting for 2 hours then not bothering to note we did attend! I knew she'd written us down as did not attend but I thought she'd then change that. She told me the guy on the desk was a temp and blamed him, had a moan at him in front of me, but tbh I wonder how much of it was her fault and if she's the problem. She doesn't have a clue what her diary looks like.

strawberrycake Fri 10-Dec-10 12:25:31

Also I think it's disgusting that anyone can be discharged from outpatients without being informed that this has happened! Children are just discharged if they don't turn up, I feel sorry for neglected kids. Just discharged, sod em, because their parents are useless when they are the most in need. Where's the child protection? I could be a neglectful mum for all they know and my baby could not be gaining weight as he's neglected and because I'm neglectful he gets discharged and left in a poor situation. Surely babies with very poor weight gain should be identified as potentially vulnerable patients and their care followed up. Or I could have PND and it's impacting on him. They have made no clear diagnosis of him so I think they should be viewing him as potentially at risk if they think I can't be bothered to take my poorly child to hospital appointments!

EatingAngelPie Fri 10-Dec-10 12:26:49

would you able to address a copy directly to the person you were meant to be seeing? as well as sending it to PALS.

there is too much acceptance in your letter that you won't now get an appt - don't accept it

slim down the letter a abit - put all your questions in a section at the bottom rather than 2 lists.

and do demand an appt.

strawberrycake Fri 10-Dec-10 12:28:41

I could send a written copy to outpatients I guess for her.

Last time I rung ANd rung AND rung trying to get him seen. It's like a brick wall. They don't call you back ever. I won't get an appointment.

sparkle101 Fri 10-Dec-10 13:05:59

I would slim down a couple of the bulky paragraphs as they sould a bit waffly. Not sure how you would do that as they contain important info. Apart from that, good stuff! I would also set a date when you expect an appointment by.

Could you go to your GP so they can refer you again?

Good luck!

BikeRunSki Fri 10-Dec-10 13:16:06

Too, too long. They won't read it. if they do, they won't take in the salient points.

EatingAngelPie Fri 10-Dec-10 13:25:32

hows this -

Dear Sir/madam,

I am writing to demand an apology for my sons horrendous mistreatment by your clinic.

we arrived 15 minutes early, but despite repeatedly asking the receptionist if i was time for our appointment, we were still there at 1: 40 when the nurse said we had been recorded as not attending!
We were then seen in a hurry and did not get through all the things we needed to cover. What is worse, it transpires that the error was not corrected and we have been discharged as a consequence due to 'non-attendance'.

I hope you are appalled as I am at our mistreatment, and will find us an appointment at the soonest possible convenience as i feel it is essential for my son's health and well-being.

I have the following unanswered questions -


and due to my sons condition I feel it vital these be answered without delay as it may affect his health and development adversely if we have to wait another 4 months.

I have copied in X as well as yourselves,

yours sincerely,


strawberrycake Fri 10-Dec-10 20:28:39

Thanks, I've pruned.

I'm thinking of as a separate issue should child protection issues at the hospital be raised? A baby is referred for very poor weight gain then apparently his parents don't even bother to attend hospital appointments with him. Their response is to discharge him and not inform anyone. Surely such a case should raise a big red child protection flag? He could be neglected, shouldn't GPs/ HVs chase this up? It would be a worrying sign if a baby lost weight nd no medical help was obtained.

I really worry that one day a child at risk could come to harm after they respond in this way for a vulnerable child.

MrsSnaplegs Fri 10-Dec-10 20:58:26

Copy to chief executive of trust/ hospital and state you expect a written response from him/ her.

CharlieBoo Fri 10-Dec-10 21:01:52

I personally would really cut to the chase as in Activate's post....scrap the child welfare stuff too, just concentrate on your issues....

Explain briefly what happened/kept waiting/thought you hadn't turned up/were briefly seen/mistakenly discharged. Demand another appointment be made for a date of your convenience...

strawberrycake Fri 10-Dec-10 22:01:35

I think I'm waffling as am a tad depressed, not massively, just enough to make coping with crap like this very difficult. Normally I'm clear-headed and direct but I'm rather emotional over this. I'm fine if I'm out and about and able to get out and do but once I'm alone I can quickly get down. Also I'm finding it hard to cope with any knocks and over-sensitive. I've made a big effort to help myself by getting out and making friends but ever since ds was born I've had a rocky time emotionally. Early on I was filled of thoughts of how he'd be better off without me, I've got over these extreme thoughts but I'm a bit fragile and easily dragged down so I'm finding it hard in the face of all the problems I've faced with ds' care. I know I need to buck up and sort it out sensibly but getting out the bloody door and not staring into space all day has been a challenge of it's own.

Posting today has given me a bit of perspective again.

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