Healthwatch Camden often hears anecdotal reports about poor patient experiences of hospital outpatient appointments. We wanted to better understand the patient experience starting with a GP referral right up to the day of the hospital appointment.
Over three weeks in spring 2019, we interviewed patients in the outpatient clinic waiting areas at both the Royal Free Hospital and University College London Hospital (UCLH).
We asked patients about booking their appointment, how they were informed about the appointment and about whether things went smoothly for them up to arrival at the clinic on the day of interview.
We also spoke with staff to explore the challenges they face in organising appointment bookings. In total we interviewed 153 patients who had been referred to hospital by Camden GP practices.
We plan to publish a report of our findings in November 2019. It will let you know more details about the project and include recommendations for how things could be improved based on what patients told us.