"Audiology department uncontactable and reception…"

I tried to contact the Hearing and Balance clinic at 4.15pm but was put through to voicemail saying they were closed until midday for training. I contacted the hospital switchboard who were unable to contact the department or any nearby department to get a message to them that their calls had been diverting to voicemail all afternoon.

This is typical of the modern NHS where the clinical staff are excellent but the admin and management staff are fifth-rate.

Story from nhs.uk


Response from King Edward VII last month
King Edward VII
Submitted on 29/04/2020 at 08:02
Published on nhs.uk at 20:01

Dear Mike,

Thank you for your posting and please accept my apologies for the delay in responding. We are sorry that you experienced problems when contacting this service . I have been in touch with our Clinical Lead for our Hearing and Balance service and I am now in a position to respond.

We have been working hard to ensure that this particular issue does not occur again. On the day of the last staff meeting there was a series of unfortunate coincidences. Our administration team were absent for various reasons, and our adult lead, who is familiar with amending telephone messages was also out of the country. Unfortunately, we had no-one available to answer the phone that afternoon, though we did have clinicians picking up the voicemail messages and responding accordingly.

We now have a better process for amending our phone message should we have no-one to answer for longer periods, but due to predicted staff shortages, with potential self-isolation and redeployment , we cannot always guarantee that the phone will be answered at present. The voicemail messages are able to be accessed by the entire team so if patients leave messages we will either deal with their request or get back to them as soon as we can. We do realise that some patients are reluctant to leave voicemails, but as we are currently closed for face to face appointments. We have to ask that patients call and leave messages or email us at the moment.

I hope that this answers your concerns and please accept our apologies for the delay. Despite not seeing patients, with the Covid-19 emergency and planning for new ways of working, we have been exceptionally busy.

Please contact me if I can assist further.

Yours Faithfully,

Trevor Lyalle

Patient Advice & Liaison Service

Tel: 01189605027 E Mail: PALS@berkshire.nhs.uk

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful