About: Southern General Hospital / Neurology

(as the patient),

Have received a letter from hospital and asked to telephone or send email in order to make an appointment with the Clinical Neurophysiology department.

I have now attempted to telephone on numerous occasion and not once have I got through to a human being. Most of the time the line was engaged and when I did get through I could hear the telephone being transferred to an answering machine. I have left 3 messages asking if someone could please contact me in order that I can make an appointment. The letter states that if I do not make one within 2 weeks my name will be taken from the waiting list, This could happen through no fault of my own. The other option contained in the letter is to email instead.....how on earth is this possible when no email address is given?

What a shambles.....I've never experienced such abysmal service when attending other hospitals, I. e. Western Infirmary or Gartnavel. Why on earth is an appointment not sent out to patients instead of having us waste enormous amounts of time trying to get through to you?

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Response from Lorna Gray, Patient Experience, Public Involvement Project Manager, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Dear MizChatelaine,

I am really sorry to read that you have had such difficulties in making this appointment and I can completely understand your frustration.

Some clinics ask that patients call to make appointments as a way to reduce what is called the 'Did Not Attend' (DNA) rates, which is when a patient doesn't turn up for a scheduled appointment. This is particularly true for very busy clinics like the one you are attending.

What is not acceptable however, is when there are such difficulties in making this appointment as you have encountered. You have highlighted a couple of very important issues - one around telephone communication and how this is managed, and secondly, about ensuring that letters sent to patients always have the information that that is needed, which in this case, is the email address for contacting the clinic.

I will send your comments on to this service to look into these points, but it would also be helpful to me if you could get in touch with me directly with a few more details so that we can look into your case specifically if that is something you would like me to do. My email address is lorna.gray@ggc.scot.nhs.uk.

I hope to hear from you soon,

Best Wishes,


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