"No-one Answering the Telephone"

About: New Cross Hospital

I wanted to check to see if my appointment with the Ear Nose and Throat dept had been booked and when it would be so I telephoned the hospital. Nobody answered. I let it ring for a good 5 minutes, three times. How am I supposed to get in touch with somebody to check my appointment? ~ How is anybody supposed to book anything at all if no-one is at all bothered about picking up the telephone?

I understand that doctors and nurses do excellent jobs under strenuous circumstances and work incredibly long hours. Admin staff, however, do nothing like the same amount of work and this is not the first time I have encountered lazy and/or inefficient reception staff. I have often watched NHS reception staff hard at work prevaricating, procrastinating, and generally sulking.

It may be that the reception is deliberately not manned on a Friday, or somesuch cost-saving measure, in which case your website should reflect this - although such measures would question the ability of the current area trust to provide adequate medical cover. Whatever the truth behind your vacant reception (and I suspect the culprits may be vacant receptionists), somebody somewhere should answer the telephone.

Please would you communicate this to your reception staff, and if possible, do something to motivate them to provide the most basic service in their job descriptions - I, and I suspect the whole of Wolverhampton, would be extremely grateful.

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Response from The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust

Thank you for taking the time and trouble to post your comments relating to the delay in speaking to somebody by telephone. I am sorry for any distress that this matter has caused.

I will share your comments with our staff, however, if you wish to contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) who can assist you further.

Kindest regards

Alison Dowling

Head of Patient Experience and Public Involvement