"inadequate information and communications"

About: King George Hospital

My doctor contacted King George's for an ENT appointment. I got an appointment letter from the hospital. I decided to go private instead of waiting months for the NHS appointment. The only phone number on the letter was the CAB number, but I couldn't use CAB because the letter did not provide any password or sign-on details. The CAB provided me with a phone number for King George's switchboard, but no-one answered. I checked the King George's website on NHS Choices, which gave only the same phone number. I tried again and it eventually switched me through to someone who again needed the password which I didn't have who did, however, give me the correct number for outpatient appointments. This number does not seem to figure on either the NHS Choices King George website, or the Barking Havering and Redbridge website. If it is there, it is buried beyond my discovery. I will admit that when I did eventually find a section for appointments it simply says to ring the number on your letter, which in my case was the CAB number (see above). There is an email option - which requires a BHR number, whatever that might be. Barking Havering and Redbridge presumably, but my letter does not provide anything under that name. I am not surprised that there are so many no-shows for appointments when cancelling an appointment is made so difficult. The letter should either have given me the necessary CAB details, or provided the correct King George's phone number. The details on the NHS Choices and Barking Havering and Redbridge website should agree with each other, and the email option should not use acronyms which the average patient will not know, and which has no equivalent on the letter. You say that failing to notify you that we cannot attend may lead to the consulting discharging us. I suggest that failing to notify you means that the unfortunate patient cannot navigate the ridiculous procedure for notifying you.

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Response from King George Hospital

Thank you for your comment. I understand this must have been frustrating for you. Thank you also for your suggestion regarding the letters we send to our patients. I will make sure your comments are passed onto the team concerned. Yours sincerely Nadeem Moghal Medical Director

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