"No consultant appointments available"

About: University Hospital (Coventry) / Gastroenterology

(as the patient),

In late March 2016 my GP agreed to refer me to a gastroenterologist, following two years of increasingly distressing symptoms.

It turns out that the referral was not done until over a week later, with the result that I did not get the letter with my reference number and password until a month after seeing my GP.

I immediately went online and was astounded to see that there were no appointments available at all at UHCW. However, the on screen message said that 'the department' would contact me within 10 days. I have carried my mobile phone with me all day every day since then, but I have still not heard anything.

I have checked online again and there are still no available appointments.

I spoke to the helpline who told me that UHCW have a problem with their patient admin system and that I should speak to the referring GP. I have spoken to my GP's secretary who says there is nothing they can do and all I can do is wait. She also indicated that the present position at UHCW is such that I am unlikely to be seen within the eighteen week limit.

This is obviously very much less than satisfactory and I would like to know how I can move this on. I work quite close to the hospital and would be happy to take a cancellation appointment at short notice, but I do not know who I should contact to make this known.

In the meantime, my life is constrained and I do not feel able, for example, to book a holiday.

How do I move this one? Who do I need to speak to?

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Response from University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust

Thank you very much for taking the time to provide feedback on your difficulties in arranging an appointment with a Gastroenterologist at University Hospital, Coventry.

I was very sorry to hear about your concerns, and I apologise for the difficulties which you have faced in trying to book an appointment online. These are not the standards to which we aim for, and I have raised your comments with the Bookings Centre.

We are aware that there are currently longer waiting times than normal for some services, and we are working to resolve these. The Bookings Centre is also looking into the information that patients receive online so that we can improve the service for all our patients.

To help us resolve this issue, and to help you make an appointment, we will be very happy to look into your specific concerns further. To do this, it is best to contact the Trust’s Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 0800 028 4203. If you would prefer to contact us by e-mail, our address is feedback@uhcw.nhs.uk

Alternatively, you can write to us at the following address: -
University Hospital
Clifford Bridge Road

We are grateful for all feedback, positive or negative, as it means we can better understand what is important to our patients.

If you do decide to contact us, please make us aware that you have left comments on the Patient Opinion website.

Thank you for leaving your comments on Patient Opinion.

Communications Team
University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust
Telephone 0800 028 4203