"Appalling communication from administration staff"

About: Watford General Hospital

I am leaving this review simply because the administration and co-ordination of this department is appalling and better processes need to be put in place. I cannot fault the medical staff since I’ve barely had any contact with them. I was referred to this department in December 2015 and only got a consultation in March 2016. Having attended the consultation I was told the procedure would be simple and should take half an hour. Given the 16 week wait for just a consultation I asked the staff what the likely waiting times would be. I was told I shouldn’t have to wait more than a month since it is a quick procedure. I left and waited 2 weeks for communication. Having heard nothing back, I decided to chase this up. Note, the lack of contact information for this department. I eventually called the main Hospital number and got put through to several people who asked me to get in touch with the appointment co-ordintor for orthodontics. Despite leaving several messages in the space of one week, they never bothered to get back to me. After several calls I got though to someone who said that the said co-ordinator was sick. The issue of them being sick and off work is fine. However that does not excuse their inability to get back to a patient to answer a simple question. I was then told I was on a waiting list. Given the already strained situation regarding the NHS I can completely understand why there would be a long waiting time, what I can’t understand is why there is no continuity of care when administration staff are not in. I was then told by another member of staff that there was an appointment on the 14th April 2016 and that they would book me in and send me written confirmation and details of the surgery. Success, and only took several pointless phone calls and asking to speak to a senior to the co-ordinator. Fast forward to today 11th April 2016, I call up to chase said written confirmation only to be told it should have been sent to me. I press on and ask when I will get it and the person on the phone said they’ll find out but I probably won’t get anything before the appointment. It’s almost like there’s no such thing a first class post, or more realistically that someone is just not bothering to send out letters on time. I then receive a call 10 minutes later to tell me my surgery has been cancelled. Fantastic, thank you for telling 3 days before my surgery after I had personally called to chase this up. Well done administration team, you’re really on the ball. The main issue with this is the poor processes used by the administration team, there is no consistency and there seems to be attitude of “ its not my job or they’re not in and so the next steps I would recommend is waste your own time calling up again because it’s not part of my job description". All of the poor reviews below have been told to contact the complaints department, I'd be interested to see what actions are actually taken.

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Response from Watford General Hospital

We are sorry to learn that your experience of our hospital was not as expected.

If you would like us to investigate this matter further on your behalf, please contact our colleagues in the Complaints Department on 01923 217866.

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