"Failings of NHS clerical system"

About: Furness General Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics

I'm in the process of having elective surgery to replace a worn out hip joint. The medical staff have been brilliant! - but in my experience the clerical side is less so. The NHS database clearly doesn't offer a field for "preferred first name" so the staff's chatty use of my first name makes me constantly anxious because I have never used it; I use my second name and have to keep telling them so. The Response Team who came to assess my needs for mobility aids were dismayed to learn that I live 20 miles from where they expected, because a line had been omitted from my postal address. The database also evidently doesn't have validation of number of phone digits, so when the Waiting List office was failing to reach me by phone on a wrong number with only 10 digits, they were not prompted to check the number in the phone book. So there was a hiatus of about 2 weeks before they eventually sent out a letter asking me to phone them. It then took several days of telephoning before I managed to contact the correct person to book me into Furness for surgery (previously, staff had mistakenly offered a date for Westmorland General, a location which the consultant had ruled out). Since the date of that phone call I have waited (so far) 16 days for a letter of confirmation and details of what to do and where to go etc on the day of surgery. As I live 54 miles from Barrow and I understand I have to be at the hospital for 7.30am you can understand I am anxious to know as soon as possible what arrangements I need to make for transport.. (Despite the required field I've completed below, I haven't actually been to Furness yet as all appointments have been at Westmorland, for which I am grateful - that it adds to the anxiety, because t I am supposed to make a 54-miles journey to arrive at the right place at the right time at a location I've never been to and with no information except what I can glean from the internet!) I am expressing all this here because for me to pester the Waiting List Office can only slow down their response to some other patient.....

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Response from Furness General Hospital

Thanks for taking the trouble to contact us about your recent experience and we are sorry to hear you came up against clerical mistakes which we are keen to look into. Please could you contact out Patient Relations Team on 01539 716621 to allow us to look into this and ensure is doesn't happen in the future? Thanks again.

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