"My constant appointment rescheduling"

About: King's Mill Hospital / Ear, Nose and Throat

(as a parent/guardian),

Two months ago I (again) had to chase my sons hearing test and check up appointment at clinic eight, Kings Mill.

He should have been seen in October so that they could test his hearing and give him the go ahead to have his grommets done. He's got hardly any hearing in one of his ears and with his sats in may and the move to comprehensive in September it was important that he goes for the test asap so that things could be sorted and settled back down again.

When I managed to get through to someone I was told that they were currently booking appointments to be seen in February and that yet again he had been missed off the referral list to be seen, so it would more than likely be even later, again they could give me a rough time span because they are cancelling so many appointments/clinics at the minute- I'm sorry but I just don't know.

Not really good enough considering that this would mean it would be almost a year after the last appointment.

I spoke to the consultants secretary and was given various excuses about there being more clinics currently being cancelled than run, not enough staff, emergencies etc (basically the same tired excuses they have been using for the last 8+ years we've been going)

When I complained they miraculously found an appointment for today. I was told to-keep ringing in to check it's still happening, and keep my fingers and toes crossed that it does because they keep getting cancelled at the last minute.

So Friday last week and Monday this week I did just that, I sat on hold for nearly 20 minutes each time before I got through to appointments and I was told it hadn't been cancelled.

At 3 o clock this afternoon after having to leave work early I got to Kings Mill, got into clinic 8 and after attempting to book in on the machines I walked across to reception, stood for a few minutes being ignored (as usual) and tried to book in to be told the clinic had been cancelled.

At dinnertime today.......

No reason, no real genuine sounding apology, no clue as to why, when we would be seen again or even what I needed to do. Just an "I'm sorry it's been cancelled, apologies for any inconvenience caused you Should get a letter" then back to typing up notes.

I'm fuming. I appreciate things sometimes throw a spanner into the works but its EVERY SINGLE TIME WE GO. Not only do they manage to Miss him off the referral list every time, it's always months if not over a year (18 months once I think? ) after he should have been seen that we manage to get an appointment. And only then when I chase it up.

Weve been to see PALS today who have had other families walk in and tell them the same thing. Apparently the business manager should have called us today and cancelled it. I have no missed calls and have been in a good reception area all day. Regardless of anything else they shouldn't have cancelled today and they definitely should have had more information about rescheduling etc available immediately.

So basically we are back to square one with everything. Hes more than likely going to have to wait another six months for an appointment and yet again I've had to visit pals about problems we have had. They obviously hadn't cancelled all appointments, just routine ones as the person on reception asked if it was an emergency appointment or not, because if it wasn't it will have been cancelled earlier today.

How long can things go on before someone steps in and points out that this isn't an acceptable level of care? If a business were to be run like this then it would have been closed down years ago.

We all know staff morale is low, it is everywhere in the public sector. Everyone's facing restructuring and evaluations of service, my service is, but we don't let it affect the public. Its part of life these days.

Budgets are tight. At some point you have to suck it up and crack on. I'm sick of complaining to PALS, getting a letter acknowledging that its not good enough but that managers will ensure it doesn't happen again but then exactly the same thing happening time and time again. I think the next stage has got to be going above speaking to Kings Mill themselves to be honest.

I look forward to having to ring up and book another appointment when it fails to be made automatically for me as much as a turkey loves christmas but I bet I end up having to do so.

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