"constantly changing appointments"

About: East Ayrshire Community Hospital

(as the patient),

I attend the Rheumatology clinic at Cumnock Community Hospital (the main hospital being Ayrshire & Arran). I am supposed to see the Consultant every 6 months but each time my appointment is changed. This time it was put back 3 months, making my visits 11 months apart, and not 6 recommended by the Consultant. I feel this situation is needed investigated, as I do not think I will be the only patient this affecting.

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Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

picture of Eunice Goodwin

Dear Blaze,

I am very sorry this has been your experience and it is certainly not ideal whatsoever. I contacted our appointments office to ask what the situation is at East Ayrshire Community Hospital for Rheumatology clinic appointments.

There is only one consultant and one more junior doctor covering East Ayrshire Community Hospital, Ayrshire Central Hospital and Ayr Hospital. Appointments at the moment for Ruematology are booked up to May 2015 so demand on the service is very high. When either of the two doctors is off on leave of any kind, sessions have to be reduced in number to let the remaining doctor cope with the clinic on their own.

I know this seems unhelpful but there is a bit of help on the horizon. If you are able to attend Ayr Hospital instead, there is a cancellation for the Rheumatology clinic next week. If you can call immediately on 01563 827070 you may get it before anyone else. Unfortunately there may be a lot of others reading this post too so you will have to be quick.

There is also a cancellation for East Ayrshire Hospital (for November), again, this may not be helpful but please call if it is.

The staff at the appointments office advise you to call in as often as you want between 8.30 am and 7.30 pm (Monday to Friday) to ask for the next cancellation (every day if that what it takes).

If your condition requires an urgent appointment, you should go back to the GP and he can telephone the consultant and discuss the possibility of being added to a clinic as an extra patient. Only the consultant is able to arrange this though.

I will also pass this to the managers for their consideration. Again, I would like to say how sorry I am that you have experienced these delays, it must be very annoying. I do hope you can get a convenient appointment,

Kind regards,


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