"Failure of Eye Clinic Telephone Appointments on..."

About: Leicester Royal Infirmary

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Once again at short notice my elderly mother has received a letter to reschedule her appointment at the LRI eye clinic. The specified time is unsuitable so we have both attempted unsuccessfully to contact the eye clinic appointments number given in the letter, 0116 2586763. On numerous occasions during the last two days we have tried to call this number. It is usually engaged. There is no queuing system. Speed redialling 50 or so times eventually gives a ring tone but the call is never answered. On a number of occasions I have left the number ringing for over 5 minutes (sometimes until BT disconnect me) without an answer. Ringing the main switchboard does not help. They offer the same number and as an alternative the clinic numbers that prove 'unobtainable', presumably because the clinics are not open at that time. I have now given up. I see on the LRI website earlier similar complaints. The Ophthalmology Manager's response in May was:- "We have recently identified the issue with the telephone number and are working to fully resolve it as soon as possible." The fault has not been fixed. You are continuing to send out clinic appointments with a contact telephone number that does not work or is not manned. For a large hospital I find it appalling that you appear willing to accept an unworkable eye clinic appointments telephone booking system even for a few hours let alone apparently for weeks. Surely this can't be that hard to fix?

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Response from Leicester Royal Infirmary

Thank you for taking the time to post your comments about our Ophthalmology department. We value all feedback as this allows us to continually review and improve our services. We are very sorry for the recent experience your mother has undergone. We would like to take this opportunity to reassure you that we are making some developments that will improve the way we deliver our service to patients. We are very aware that some patients are having to wait longer for an appointment or surgery than is ideal and that some patients also have their appointment dates or times changed. We are very sorry for this and want to reassure you that we are making some changes to our processes during August and September that will significantly improve both the appointment process for patients and further reduce waiting times. Your mother's appointment is clearly one that we have to change in August or September and please accept our apologies during this transition; we will aim to ensure she are seen as quickly as possible but if you do have any further concerns, please feel free to contact the following numbers from Monday to Friday, between 9am and 4pm: Enquiries about clinic appointments – 0116 258 6763 Enquiries about surgery – 0116 248 5930 General inforation – 0116 258 6468 FOR EMERGENCIES ONLY Emergency Eye Casualty – 0116 258 6273 We are also aware that patients have been facing some are difficulty in contacting us on these numbers at peak times due to the volume of calls but we will make every effort to answer your call and resolve any concerns. Kind regards Interim Service Manager Ophthalmology Leicester’s Hospitals

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