Aarrrgggghhhhh! Here we go again!

Get to the back of the queueA few weeks now since my operation and I had thought that all was going well after an initial mess-around over immediate post-operative follow-up.

Oh what a mistake!
One issue that does need addressing is a low testosterone level and on 22nd August I got a letter offering me an appointment with the endocrinologist to discuss this. Unfortunately I was due to be on holiday on the scheduled date (13th September) and so rang up noting on my copy that I had explained the position and asked for a postponment until after 19th September when I returned from holiday.
Today I rang up noting that I had heard nothing about a rearranged appointment and wondering what was happening. It turns out that my notes said I had cancelled the original appointment and so I was now at the back of the queue. Well, I suppose that saying I can’t attend is technically cancelling, but at the same time explaining why and asking for a rearrangement surely amounts to asking for a postponment? It seems not. The subtle distinction between “I do not want to see the Dr” and “I cannot see the Dr on the date you suggested, please can you arrange me another appointment” appears to be lost on the system at LTHT. Patient-friendly it is not.

Dr Murray’s secretary agreed to look into getting me a new appointment only to find that the first available one is on 3rd January 2017. Really!! So I asked her to have a word with Dr Murray, relating how long I had been in the system, with a view to finding an earlier appointment. I am not hopeful.

Fortunately this is not an urgent issue, and once again the clunkiness of the system is sadly exposed. I’m intrigued to see that one of LTHT’s core values is described thus (my bold):

Patient-centred

  • Consistently deliver high quality, safe care.
  • Organise around the patient and their carers and focus on meeting their individual needs.

Well, the first of these is certainly delivered, but they have a long way to go to deliver the second!

2 responses to “Aarrrgggghhhhh! Here we go again!

  1. Geoff. sorry to hear of your problems, which seem to be quite common ,if you can’t take up the original offer of an appointment. The letter making the appointment ask you to let them know if you are unable to attend.(or at least that is my experience). In your case you have given them ample notice thereby making a space for the next patient. That patient will then make a space for you hopefully. problem solved. One patient will be grateful at getting an early appointment, and you will be seen at your convenience. I realise this is a simplistic approach but it might be useful to get in touch and explain your availability. Best of luck John.

  2. Oh that is a shame.
    In my GP surgery (yes, I know it is not a hospital …) they have notices up to say something like “Let us know if you can’t make an appointment, we can then offer the time to another patient …”
    Which at least implies re-arrangement of the original.
    Naturally, I have never put the system into test. If I have an appointment, it is best to rock up.
    January does seem a long way away from September.

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