"Late Appointment / Wrong Referral"

About: Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford)

I had a 40 minute wait in a room full of women awaiting pregnancy scans which felt like completely the wrong place to be. I was just thinking I may have been forgotten when my name was called and I was taken to a smaller waiting area (which felt like a much more appropriate place). It was then explained to me and the other ladies who had been redirected that there would be an addtional waiting time of approximately an hour if we wanted to be seen. I decided to stay as I had already waited 5 weeks (possibly longer since I didn't know the exact date of my GP's referral). As I thought I had been referred to have an endoscopy procedure I thought it would not be in my best interests to have a further wait for an appointment. Other ladies waiting had to go and sort out their parking arrangements as they had been waiting for so long and were worried that they might be fined if they did not return to their car. Eventually I was seen and hour and 30 minutes later. The pleasant nurse who accompanied me to the consultation room apologised for the waiting time. I was obviously anxious but felt that I needed to be seen at last! Unfortunately, very unfortunately, I was then apologised to again by the Senior Registrar who informed me that I had been referred to the wrong clinic and would not be having the endoscopy procedure that day. She seemed very apologetic and almost embarrassed by the situation I found myself in but said my GP referred me to the wrong clinic!! She then reported that I would have to wait 4 weeks before I could have this done. I checked the next day with my GP who said they were sorry but they did not see it as their mistake. I am now left with both parties, all part of the same organisation, seemingly blaming each other! Further as I hadn't heard about a future appointment after two weeks I rang the number at the top of my original hospital number and spoke to a secretary to one of the consultants (I think she was surprised I had come through on her number and said that the switchboard was playing up?). She was as helpful as she could be and referred to the appointments department for information on my behalf. She later returned my call with the news that i was "Pending". She had also been told that I would now have to wait to the middle of October (which I make out to be 16 weeks probably more!) from when my GP referred me! I rang my practice and spoke to a GP who said they could not help me. I am totally and utterly astounded by not only the waiting times for this procedure but also the complete and utter incompetence that this has thrown up. I have lost faith in my GP Practice and also the Gynacology Department.

Story from NHS Choices

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