"Why is it so difficult to get a follow up appointment?"

About: Kent & Canterbury Hospital / General medicine

(as the patient),

In early July I saw a consultant at K&C Outpatient Dept. He could not have been more professional or kind. I was prescribed medication, sent for blood tests and told to return in 2 weeks time. I took the appointment slip to Outpatients main desk. I was told I’d be lucky. I reminded them it was not my request but the consultant’s. I was told I’d be sent an appointment date in the post.

Three weeks went by I returned to Outpatients and was told they couldn’t make an appointment as they couldn’t find a code but they would send one in the post.

Two weeks went by. I telephoned Outpatients and was told they couldn’t find a code but would put me through to the consultant’s secretary. When I asked her why a code couldn’t be found she said “your guess is as good as mine”, but she said she’d send me an appointment in the post.

Three weeks went by. I went to Patient Experience. They said they’d make some calls and phone me back.

Two weeks went by. I returned to Patient Experience. They would make some calls and phone me.

Three weeks went by I returned to P. Experience, they would sort it and call me back. Please note all this time my symptoms are getting worse.

It's now late October and I returned to P. Experience for the fourth time only to be told they’d make some calls and phone me next week. I don’t hold out any hope. I am a nurse myself so have some understanding of the system. I am not elderly, I’m not hard of hearing. I have time on my hands to persist in trying to get an appointment. English is my first language and I’m not feeling too unwell but I have been reduced to tears over this. Not one person I have spoken to seemed at all bothered about my situation. I feel very let down.

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Responses

Response from Julie Pearce, Chief Nurse + Director of Quality + Operations, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for raising your concerns and frustrations of arranging a follow up appointment. I am really sorry that this has been your experience and I would like to help you resolve this situation with you.

Please do email me on Julie.pearce1@nhs.net and I will go through your details to ensure I can follow this through for you.

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