"Missed Appointments phoned from the hospital"

About: York Hospital

Calls made to patients from the hospital are now causing problems as many people have call blockers to deal with the rising number of nuisance calls. These devices vary but a major issue arise if a number is withheld as it is not possible for the device to identify the caller, and filter calls. In the case of the popular BT Call Guardian the caller has to follow the instructions to either get the phone to ring or leave a message. If the caller does not do this then the call will fail and look to the recipient like one of the many nuisance call logged by the device. Some hospital staff manage to get though but others appear unaware of the issue. My wife missed an urgent call from the Colon Rectal Clinic as they failed to get though. With the appointment letter then arriving after the appointment. There are a number of work arounds that can address this problem. 1 Arrange with your communications supplier to declare a number to be issued so that calls from York Hospital can be identified as such by call blockers. This could be that of your switchboard or a simple message service to help people identify a missed call and then authorise the call blocker to accept calls from that number. (potential solution) 2 Advise your staff to follow the instructions issued by the call blocker so the can get through to speak to a person, or leave a message.(preferred option) 3 Advise patients to disable their call blockers (not preferred) I would recommend you look at 1 & 2 as the most effective way of dealing with a problem that is going to get worse as more people adopt call blockers, impact on you missed appointment targets and frustrate both patients and staff.

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Response from York Hospital

Thank you for your posting. We do take comments made very seriously and we would like the opportunity to investigate the particular concerns you have raised. Please contact our Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS) on 01904 726262 or email pals.york@york.nhs.uk and they will be pleased to help.

We will also forward to the area for their information.

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