"Letter over a year in advance"

About: Manchester Royal Infirmary

(as a volunteer/advocate),

Vision impaired lady had been sent an appointment letter (in small print) over a year in advance (13th May 2016). A visiting family member had read it to her, but must have missed that it was for 2016 (not 2015). The lady requested transport with a local charity, which involved co-ordinating volunteers to get the elderly vision impaired lady from Ashton to Manchester Royal Infirmary for the 9. 15am appointment. Although this is not necessarily the hospital's fault, sending out letters over a year in advance and A) expecting the person to remember the appointment, and B) potentially coming a year early, could easily be prevented by either sending out letters closer to the appointment time, or at least making sure letters didn't go out over a year in advance. Perhaps just including the day of the week within the date would help people avoid confusion. Obviously having letters in large print so the lady can read them for herself (rather than only having them read to her once) would also be a great advantage, but apparently this is currently not feasible with the outsourced mailing system currently in place.

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Response from Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

We were very sorry to receive your comments and concerns via the NHS Choices website on behalf of this lady and her experience with her out patient appointment. Unfortunately It is very difficult to be able to offer an explanation as to why these issues occurred without having the patient’s details so that we can investigate the case specifically and would also need the patient’s consent to do so.

With regards to the print size used in this patient’s appointment letter, the standard font size used in the Trust is no less than 12 points as standard. We take all issues surrounding patient care very seriously and would very much like to hear from you directly about this. If you or the patient contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 0161 276 8686 or by e-mailing pals@cmft.nhs.uk they will be happy to discuss this with you.

The Patient Experience Team

Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust