"Being blacklisted for lateness is unfair "

About: Guernsey House

(as the patient),

Personally I think the service provided by yourself is great. But this idea about being blacklisted to see the duty once late is patient persecution, because even when I phone up out of courtesy to say I may not make it on time, I'm given the cold shoulder.

Sometimes it's not the patient taking the "piss". Sometimes it's down to economic and logistics what makes someone late in my previous experience. And being given the cold shoulder was not appreciated, particularly as I was poorly.

I know it's designed to enhance, but what exactly is it enhancing. Statistics show it's not making much of a difference except to undermine the patient.

When the world seems against you and the things I've mentioned above are taken into account, it's hard.

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Response from Becky Hudson, Practice Manager , The Avenue Medical Practice, NHS Sheffield CCG (Lead commissioner)

We are so sorry to hear that this has been a problem for you. Firstly I can assure you that no patients are 'blacklisted' under ANY circumstances. If you would like to write to the Practice Manager with your specific concerns the matter will be investigated.

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Response from Margaret Kilner, Office Manager, Primary Care Addiction Service, Sheffield, Guernsey House

Thanks for taking the time to give your feedback.

Firstly, please accept our apologies for your experience of being 'given the cold shoulder' - it is not our aim to undermine or persecute but to support our service users. If you want to discuss your comments further I would be happy to meet with you and try to address your concerns.

With regard to use of the duty system, as you probably already know, we provide a duty system for emergencies that are unplanned and cannot wait until the next day.

We have to make sure that this is how it is used as we do not have the resources to provide a daily drop in clinic. To do this we have boundaries to prevent the duty system being overused while planned appointments are wasted.

We have agreed as a service that when someone repeatedly attends duty because they have repeatedly missed booked appointments, the duty nurse will not continue to provide prescriptions to cover gaps until they have attended a planned appointment with a doctor or nurse prescriber.

This is when a service user would be given a letter explaining that they cannot use duty until they have had a review at a booked appointment - which I think is what you mean by being 'blacklisted'.

We put an emphasis on attending planned appointments with the same doctor or nurse prescriber so that we can provide quality continuity of care and so you don’t need to explain your problems repeatedly - there isn't time to properly plan and work towards your goals and aims in a duty session.

If you feel you have been treated unfairly please do speak to your keyworker or ask for me at reception next time you come in. We are always willing to have an open conversation about how the clinic works and what is working well for service users and what isn't.

I hope your next experience of the clinic is much more positive.

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