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"Disappointing and frustrating"

About: Southampton General Hospital

What could be improved

My first contact with the hospital was today, and it was disappointing. It took too long to get through to the main switch-board (no announced queuing system), and when I evenutally got through and was given the direct number for the ward (D3), I rang the number - only to find (a) that the line was engaged (fair enough) and (b) that although I was invited to use the ring-back facility (dial 5), when I rang it the voice said 'Sorry, the ring-back facility is not available'! These faults in your call-processing system need atention. logo
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Response from Southampton General Hospital 10 years ago
Southampton General Hospital
Submitted on 05/09/2011 at 13:21
Published on on 06/09/2011 at 04:00

We’re sorry to hear about your experience. With large numbers of patients, visitors and staff, our switchboard and other key numbers can be very busy at peak times.

We do not have a call queuing system because it can be misleading to users; while there may be a large number of people in the queue they should usually all be dealt with very quickly as in most circumstances we are simply transferring calls to other numbers.

It is likely that you would have been given the direct number for the ward rather than being transferred because the ward line was busy at that time and we are sorry if that was not made clear.

We do not have our own ringback service so you may have experienced a third party service (such as BT) which is not under our control and would not work with switchboard systems.

Your comments are really useful to us as we are always working on ways to improve the system including providing alternative ways to contact us, such as through our website for those who are able to go online instead of phoning.

If you have any further feedback please do feel free to contact us via

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