"NHS Lothian ENT Out Patients Appointment Process"

About: Lauriston Building

(as the patient),

I experience frustrating dealings with NHS Lothian ENT Out Patients Appointment Line today.

I was given the following information:

"Here is your clinic appointment. If you can't make it please call to arrange another more suitable time. "

So I call, and they offer me the same date. So I say I can't do that date so they say they will cancel it and put me back on the waiting list as they only have a 6 week portal and don't have any other appointments in that time.

So I ask if there are cancellations.

They said no and explained that they don't have resources to go out to everyone when there is a cancellation, and that you just go back on the waiting list. 

It's not an urgent appointment and I'm not going to be pushy but it totally frustrates me at the inefficiency in the whole process. Why send me a letter saying phone and rearrange if they can't then offer alternatives!

Last time I had to attend a (different) clinic they wrote saying they received my referral and I should phone to make an appointment. That seems a much better process as it could be a computer generated standardised letter, they only have one stamp to pay for, the onus is then on me to organise a suitable date and any cancellations - even at short notice - can be filled up so not wasting time and appointments.

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Response from Jeannette Morrison, Head of Patient Experience, NHS Lothian

Dear Scotdot

I was sorry to read of your frustrating experiences in trying to rearrange your clinic appointment, especially when they offer the same date.

I would be happy to look into this for you and can be contacted in the Patient Experience Team via email (feedback@nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk) or Tel 0131 536 3370.

Kind regards


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Update posted by Scotdot (the patient)

Thank you Jeannette, I will give you a call this week.

Chapter 2 of this experience is that I have received a new appointment through by letter and it is EXACTLY the same date and time that I have advised them I can't do in the first place!! The fact that I need to call again doesn't make me cross but the total inefficiency of this whole process does! This is happening at a time when resources are in short supply and every penny saved makes a difference to what the NHS can provide for us. It is an unacceptable waste.

Response from Jeannette Morrison, Head of Patient Experience, NHS Lothian

Dear Scotdot,

I am really sorry to hear how difficult this is and can fully appreciate your frustrations. As I said I would be happy to look into this for you and can be contacted on Tel 0131 536 3370 or via feedback@nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk where l or one of the team will try to help you.

Kind regards


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