Out Patinents Appointment times

  jack 10:17 08 Nov 2010

Who of us has had an outpatient time changed months in advance or in another sort of instance a regular list of times for a daily treatment immediately changed for the next visit?
I oft wonder why this happens and try to imagine the feverish activity of the appointment alterations department in a busy Hospital.
Some years ago I underwent radio therapy - it entailed a daily visit for 25 day.-I was furnished with a list of attendance times for the duration - but at each attendance - the receptionist feverishly consulted her screen and changed then next time forward or back usually by 30 minutes or so.
I thought then this is not exactly an A&E situation with triage in full swing- why do they p[lay these games?

Subsequent of the treatment I have a twice yearly checkup- the consultant- making a date there and then for the next - this is a week or so later, confirmed in writing as it was in June this year for a day and time in January next- This week past I new appointment time for the same day in January but moved ahead by 40 minutes-
I thought how can they know about a time shift this far ahead? anything could happen between now and then - will they write me again?
What a waste of time and postage- wait until the week before then sort the list surely.

  woody 10:31 08 Nov 2010

Purely bad management.
In our docs there is a sign complaining about us patients not turning up and the amount of wasted time/money that costs.
I said it is a pack of lies - no if no buts - lies.
IF the no turn up cost time -ie the doc was siting there picking his nose - why is it when we make an appointment we get seen,if we are lucky,only an hour after the alloted time (some time 2 hours late).
If lots did not turn up we would be seen on time or even before time.

  Quickbeam 10:37 08 Nov 2010

It's intentional over booking to absorb the no-shows. Hotels and airlines have it off to a tee. But on the days when everyone shows up, it all goes pair shaped.

  hssutton 10:38 08 Nov 2010

Happens with us every year for the past 40years with appointments for my disabled daughter. Of course it only takes the consultant to be off ill for a couple of weeks to throw out all appointment times.

Or just a simple emergency admission can cause untold delays, which happened to us on one occassion. We where in Spain and flew home over night and straight to the hostpital for an appointment, we arrived on time, only to be informed there would be a 12 hour delay due to emergency addmissions. Ok we where totally shattered after traveling overnight with a 4 hour car drive to get to the hostpital, but if the consultant is in theatre with an emergency, what can they do.

  Quickbeam 10:38 08 Nov 2010

...or even pear shaped...

  hssutton 10:42 08 Nov 2010

Obviously I was not commenting on our local GPs surgery appointments, which incidently are quite good. I know they allow 10mins per appointment, obviously some appointments overrun the 10 mins so this can cause delays.

  jack 10:50 08 Nov 2010

Indeed in my piece I said the appointments were/are regular out patient not A&E with triage in full swing.
An appointment change by a few minutes on the daily one made no sense- any more than a half yearly one being shifted by a similar amount- months in advance- particularly when events on the day could cause the whole show to go awry.

  hssutton 11:11 08 Nov 2010

Jack I understood your post, all our appointments are as outpatients, not A&E. My points still stand if there's an emergency/s over a period of time the consultants schedule gets shot to hell.

  sunnystaines 11:19 08 Nov 2010

i always attend early and in many occasions get seen early as they are so many "no shows"

people who fail to appear without contacting the hosp should be kicked off the list and told to see the gp to be re reffered. as they are total time wasters.

dont mind date/time changes if it means more deserving urgent cases need to be fitted in.

  I am Spartacus 11:42 08 Nov 2010

A couple of months ago, about 2 hours before my appointment for an ultrasound scan I had a call to say the appointment was cancelled due to the Radiologist having to go home sick. A bit annoyed as I'd had to fast but these things happen. The following week I had a phone call to say that because I'd cancelled my appointment they'd sent a letter to my GP and it would be another couple of months before another one could be arranged.

After pointing out that it wasn't me who cancelled I was given another appointment exactly 4 weeks ahead. I sent in a complaint which apart from an acknowledgement still hasn't been answered.

I had the scan just under 2 weeks ago and when I phoned my GP for the results was told that they had lost them and I'll have to go for another scan. I'm still waiting to hear how many months I'll have to wait for that one. At least I can't have a serious problem otherwise they'd deal with this promptly... wouldn't they?

  michaelw 12:14 08 Nov 2010

I had an endoscopy in May. They wrote to tell me the follow-up consultation would be in July. Near the time they wrote to tell me it had changed to late August. My appointment was 3.10pm. I waited and waited and finally after two hours saw the doctor. I complained to him about the wait and he said he was just as frustrated as me and that I should write to complain.

I wrote explaining that this was no way to treat people. I could have done a lot of useful things in that wasted two hours. I got a phone call from the complaints department offering an apology and did I want the chief executive to know, but at the same time telling me it would do no good. I insisted my complaint went to the CE. A month later I got a letter of apology from the CE and further they were rescheduling the overbooking so this type of incident wouldn't happen again.

Sometimes it pays to complain.

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