Summary of report content
Healthwatch Derbyshire conducted a mystery shopping exercise at Chesterfield Royal Hospital to collect information about hospital appointment letters and experiences of attending outpatient appointments.
The report found that appointment letters were clear and easy to read, although could be more accessible to those with visual impairments, such as using larger print. Volunteers felt that those visitors unable to access the internet may be at a disadvantage in not being able to access directions to the hospital. Volunteers reported a queue for the car park and that there was a lack of drop-off points for patients with mobility issues. Volunteers found the payment machines to be easy to use and tariffs were displayed at each of the machines seen. The machine also “spoke” making it easier to use and machines were sheltered from the elements. Volunteers found reception staff to be helpful and friendly, with self-service machines allowing for swifter booking in times. Some volunteers commented on the lack of resting areas on the way to the clinics and all signage was positioned at a high level which may not be visible to people using wheelchairs. Most volunteers appeared to find the attendance at clinics a good experience with staff generally being praised. However, volunteers described some waiting areas as being restricted in space with wheelchair space being limited.
A number of recommendations were made regarding appointment letters, internet research, travel, car parking, and experience in the reception.
The service provider responded well to the recommendations.