Friday, July 25, 2008

Hospital Appointments

I am sure that you have all read of how horrendous hospital waiting lists are and how hospitals always defend themselves by blaming it on patients for missing appointments. If that is true, then surely it would make sense for the hospitals to make cancelling or rearranging appointments easier?

An example, today I received an appointment for my daughter. She had been referred by the SALT to the ENT and audiology dept.

The date given was during a time when we hope to be away on holiday, so I rang to cancel.

On the bottom of the letter it says :

' If you need to discuss rebooking your appointment please telephone:-

NHS Direct on 08456 *** *** if your appointment was arranged with your GP or online OR Swindon and Marlborough Trust on 01793 ** ** ** if you arranged the appointment directly with Swindon and Marlborough NHS trust by telephone or postal letter. '

Well actually none of the above applies, but nearest to it is GP so I rang the first number.


Well no actually NO!!

You see I cannot change the appointment without a password and number, I have neither, so apparently I need to make an appointment with the GP, get a booking number and password off him, then ring them back and they should be able to change the appointment for me. Its a non emergency, and I would not pretend otherwise so it will take two to three weeks to get an appointment, which would take it very close to the appointment date anyway!! AGGGGHHHHHH I pointed out that this system didn't really help at all, and it was small wonder there were (according to said letter) 20,000 missed appointments last year in the Great Western Hospital. I was told very huffily, 'It makes life MUCH easier THANK you '


Bear in mind, that under the old booking system, you would receive a letter requesting you to ring the booking centre and arrange a convenient appointment. Whicjh I did, ONCE! Arranged the appointment day and time conveient to me to guarantee I would make it. Only then they cancelled it and rearranged it for a very inconvenient time, then cancelled it again and made it a week earlier, then next day cancelled AGAIN and rearranged it for a fortnight earlier than the first appointment

Stupid stupid stupid. It doesn't work, so please sort it out and stop blaming the patients for not turning up !!

Incidentally if you happen to receive the same letter, and you don't have the password etc, ring the OTHER number, the people there are much more amenable, very sensible and extremely helpful!! They changed the appointment to a convenient date within two minutes. Simple really isn't it!!


Posh Totty said...

Yep we have had the same thing, its a total joke.

They are trying to reduce peoples stress levels saying stress makes people ill etc, then go and do something like this .... Hmmm yeah thanks!!!