"Lack of appointments at Ophthamology dept"

About: Southend Hospital

It appears that there is something decidedly fishy going on with appointments to the ophthamology department! Both myself and my son have an eye condition that need continuous monitoring. When phoning for his last appointment he was offered one just a few weeks away at the Orsett site, accepted this and booked the day off work as holiday. A week before the appointment he received a letter cancelling the appointment and offering a different date a few weeks further away. He was unable to cancel his day off at such short notice so had to use a second days holiday to book the day off for the rescheduled appointment. This turn of events continued a further two times (he had now wasted 4 day of his holiday allocation on cancelled appointments) before he tired of it and phoned to tell them that he was unable to accept the latest appointment date. He asked them not to send any more for the time being as he had no more holiday available to book at work and he would phone them when he got his next allocation after the summer. A few weeks later while visiting the doctor he was shocked to find that the hospital had written to them discharging him from the hospital as they claimed he had failed to attend for his appointment without informing them! This is a disgusting way to treat patients and it appears that they are meeting their waiting times by offering appointments that they have no intention of fulfilling and are also claiming that patients have not attended when, in fact, they are never actually given a genuine appointment! It is a requirement of this feedback that I state the month of the visit so I will put the current month even though the nature of my feedback is that they are making it impossible to visit!

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Response from Southend Hospital

Dear Sir/Madam, I am sorry to hear of your disappointment with appointments within the Ophthalmology department at our Orsett site. I must firstly apologise, we have been experiencing difficulty with appointments within this specific department and are working on rectifying the situation. I will ensure that your comments are passed on to the relevant department so that they have detail of your issues. Unfortunately without identifiable information I am unable to look into this specifically for you but if you would like this to be investigated can I ask that you contact out complaints team on complaints@southend.nhs.uk where they can look into this in more detail for you. Many thanks for posting and again I am sorry for your disappointment. Regards,

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