"Not an acceptable thing to do to someone"

About: Southport & Formby District General Hospital / General medicine

(as the patient),

I took my father along today to an appointment at Southport & Formby District Hospital to the orthalmic department. My father is 88 years of age and has had something wrong with his eyes for a while, but does not know what is wrong with them exactly. We went all the way to the hospital for a 10.30am appointment, only to be told that it had been cancelled. They said they could not see anyone and we were sent away. I thought this was terrible as we had not been informed of this. We called the local surgery who made the appointment having been referred by the doctor and they knew nothing about this. This is not an acceptable thing to do to someone, especially as they are 88 years of age.

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Response from Matthew King

Dear Just 734,

I am sorry for the confusion over your father's appointments and also for the time taken to reply to you on here.

I am told by the Ophthalmic Department Manager that on receiving the Electronic Booking referral from your father's GP it was decided, because of clinical need, it would be better if he was seen sooner and an appointment for a month sooner was actually made for him in the Acute Referral Clinic but he did not attend.

On the morning that your father came for the appointment made for him by his GP, efforts were made for him to be seen by a Doctor that same day, despite the fact that we had a record that this original appointment had been cancelled.

Three offers were made to your father when he arrived,

1. For him to wait to see if he could be seen that morning, however as there would be some waiting he declined this offer.

2. He was then offered an appointment for four days later, which was again declined.

3. He was then offered an appointment for a week later which was accepted.

The Patient Access centre, which is responsible for appointments, now has a system in place where by all cancellations by the hospital of Electronic Bookings, like your father's, are backed up with a letter to the patient.

Again I can only appologise for the mix up in your father's appointments.

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