"Cancelled appointments and an hour and a half wait"

About: Manchester Royal Infirmary

This review is in regards to the orthopaedic department. I was referred for an appointment with a consultant back in May. I was extremely happy that an appointment was made for me so quickly. I booked the morning off work so I could attend (as they only have a morning surgery). A couple of weeks before my appointment I got a phone call to say that this appointment needs to be cancelled due to the consultant being on holiday. I was a little annoyed as I had booked time off work but these things happened and I then accepted the new date given and again booked time off work to attend. However, again another couple of weeks later I got another phone call to say that this appointment also need to be cancelled due to 'unforeseen circumstances' and a new date all need to be arranged. By this point I had booked off 2 mornings for appointments that were to then be cancelled and as you can expect I wasn't happy at all this time. I asked the receptionist if this was a reoccurring thing for this consultant as I can't afford to take any more time off. They said this was unfortunate and hopefully the next date will be available. It came to my appointment date (no cancellations this time) and I arrived 15 minutes early for my appointment (My appointment being at 9.15am). The waiting room was quite busy but I noticed on the board that there were 4 other consultants that morning and people were waiting for x-rays so I wasn't too worried. 9.15 came and went. But I wasn't expecting my appointment to be exactly on time and I wasn't due back in work until 12 (I thought nearly 3 hours was plenty of time for an appointment.). It then came to 9.45 and I was still waiting. At 10am (45minutes late) a nurse came into the waiting room and announced that anybody with an appointment with this certain consultant would have another hour wait? That would be nearly 2 hours late for my appointment. I had to cancel the appointment myself this time and rearrange as I had to get back to work. Nest time I will probably book the whole day off (even though this is just a waste). So after 2 cancellations and a potential 2 hour late appointment I am so unhappy and displeased with the consultant and the overall obvious state of the NHS! So dissapointed! I must say that the reception staff were helpful and apologetic.

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Response from Manchester Royal Infirmary

We are very sorry to receive your comments and concerns via the NHS Choices / Patient Opinion website about your experiences in the Orthopaedic Department at the Manchester Royal Infirmary. Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience and understandable frustration that the cancellation of several of your appointments and your prolonged wait in clinic has caused you.

It was unfortunate that the doctor was on leave and your first appointment was cancelled, but please be assured we do our upmost to ensure that routine leave does not affect appointments that have already been booked. We are sorry this was not your experience. In addition, it is sometimes the case that clinicians are called away from the outpatient clinic due to unforeseen emergencies which can impact on clinic appointments and extend waiting times as was your experience.

It is our expectation that patients are kept as informed as possible, in such situations by the clinic staff and we are pleased to hear that this did happen on this occasion, although we do appreciate that the situation remained frustrating and inconvenient for you.

We take all issues surrounding patient care very seriously and would very much like to hear from you directly about this. If you contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 0161 276 8686 or by e-mailing pals@cmft.nhs.uk they will be able to discuss this with you.

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