"Getting an appointment with my specialist"

About: Raigmore Hospital / General Medicine

(as the patient),

I had not seen my physiotherapist for a few months but it was agreed that I would make an appointment for November 2015.

I rang at the end of October and got an answerphone message and assumed the department was busy. I tried many times but always the answerphone which gave two options, alter or change an appointment, not make one!

In desperation I followed the answerphone steps but they needed my reference number which I did not have. After a month of trying in desperation I decided to go into the physiotherapist department so I could make an appointment face to face. A big notice greeted me, no reception staff! I could hear voices so I approached one of the physiotherapists who very kindly was able to get into the computer and make an appointment.

As I live in Inverness it was easy for me to call into the hospital. Our hospital serves a very large area of the Highlands it wouldn't have been so easy for someone living in Fort William or Thurso to make a trip of many hours to simply make an appointment.

I am sure many patients have given up on trying to continue with their physiotherapy. This physiotherapy department serves a large community, an area the size of Belgium. For those of you in the Central Belt who are unaware and are well served with all hospital facilities please think more thoroughly about this and get a receptionist back into the physiotherapist department. We are in the Highlands not on the moon!

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Response from Maimie Thompson, Head of Public Relations and Engagement, Chief Executive's Office, NHS Highland

picture of Maimie Thompson

Dear Maltida Mouse

I can only begin to imagine how frustrating and bewildering this must have been for you. I can only apologise and commit to resolving this unacceptable servive as soon as possible. It is simply not good enough. Not only is it not focussed around our patients needs it is wasteful of time and resources.

I will work with colleagues to understand the root of the problem and hopefully they will be able to identify what actions we need to take to make sure booking an appointment does not require a degree in perseverance. I really am sorry its not the level of care and attention that NHS Highland is striving for but by feeding back it certainly will helps us all to improve. I will keep you posted.

Thank you.

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