"Appalling appointment failures - Spinal Specialist"

About: Colchester General Hospital

I was scheduled to see the Spinal specialist at the beginning of January, however they were off sick, so my appointment was postponed. I was given an alternative appointment in April! This was brought forward to 30th March. However, an hour before the appointment time on the 30th March, I received a call to advise that the specialist was off sick again and am now being advised that I will receive an appointment for July! I am in extreme pain every single day, as a man of only 23 years I am struggling to even do simple things like get out of bed, walk etc so each time my appointments are postponed and I am pushed back to the bottom of the waiting list I am frustrated beyond words. I understand that the waiting list to see this specialist is extremely long, as I was informed of this earlier this week, also that there is only one spinal specialist at Colchester General Hospital, who seems to have the misfortune to be struggling with their own health, yet what are the hospital doing to allieviate the situation, for everyone impacted by this situation? I will be complaining to the hospital, but do not imagine that this will be a priority for those running the hospital, therefore I will also be writing to the local press as there do not seem to be alternative options available. How is it that those of us who keep having our appointments postponed then have to wait a further 3-4 months before we receive another appointment, which is then postponed for another 3-4 months!

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Response from Colchester General Hospital

I apologise you’ve not had a good patient experience. We try really hard to improve our services based on the comments we receive from our patients, their relatives or carers. We would like the opportunity to discuss your experiences more fully and to apologise in person. Could you email me, using the reference “Comment on Orthopaedics 02/04/2015 13:31:56”, please? Many thanks Paul Searle, Head of Communications Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust info@colchesterhospital.nhs.uk

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