"Appointment times"

About: Royal Orthopaedic Hospital

Today I had an appointment booked for 10.40 to have a consultation to confirm that a knee operation had been successful. As usually happens, a message flagged up on the monitor to say that the consultant was running 40 minutes late....then 60 minutes late. I do realise that he is a very busy person, but so am I and I have to have time off work and pay excessive car parking fees just to sit and waste time. This morning, after 2 and a half hours waiting, I found the whole situation intolerable and walked out in disgust. I had to be at work and after having 3 weeks off to recover from my operation, my employer is less than happy with my attendance and I simply cannot afford to lose my job. The whole appointment system needs overhauling-if it is a 'block' booking, then make that clear, rather than leave patients to sit around for hours. On saying this, the staff were very sympathetic and helpful

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Response from Royal Orthopaedic Hospital

Dear Mr Mills, I am sorry to learn of your experiences on Friday in our outpatient department. I will look into these with my colleagues in charge of the services and ensure that we improve where we need to. I can see from the appointment system that you did not want to remake your appointment, should this change please don't hesitate to let me know and I will happily make new arrangements for you. It is normal that several patients have an appointment at the same time; this is because the Consultant will have a team of Registrars or Extended Scope Practitioners with them in clinic meaning that 3/4 clinicians are present and can all see patients. I am sorry that this wasn't explained more clearly to you however this does not excuse the delays you experienced. As soon as I have feedback and actions from my colleagues I will write to you with this. With best wishes for your continued recovery Claire Williams, Patient Relations Manager

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