"Excellent department but the appointment system..."

About: Arrowe Park Hospital / Ophthalmology

My elderly mother-in-law and I were both treated in this department and the treatment seemed excellent. Kind, friendly, helpful staff, not much time kept waiting after arrival.The appointment system unfortunately is dreadful! I was seen by my optician on May 25th but not seen for my first appointment and confirmation of the diagnosis of glaucoma until October 3rd, which I think is far too long before starting treatment. Initially, I was instructed to phone the hospital appointment line which I did and I was told that I would be sent an appointment, a few weeks later. I then received about three more letters asking me to phone the appointment line which was disconcerting. Why were these not cancelled off the system after my initial phone call? I then received my appointment but it was for when I was on holiday. I phoned to change it and was told that another appointment would be sent to me. I said that I might be away again and asked if I could arrange it now, and I was curtly told that if I cancelled another appointment I wouldn't be given another one and would have to be re-referred! I was send three appointments for the same day in three separate envelopes. I tried to phone the appointment line to cancel two of them but gave up after being on hold for 30 minutes. So I posted a letter on September 2nd to cancel the two extra appointments, however they were still on the system when I arrived on October 3rd, presumably wasting these appointments! I was pleased to receive two text messages reminding me of my 10.30 appointment and telling me that the appointments cost £160 each. I didn't receive texts for my two extra appointments. Surely, the appointment system can be improved? Perhaps look at the systems used by my large GP practice, or The Murrayfield Hospital. When I arrived at the Opthalmology department a nurse(?) was sitting at the entrance advising people to report to the reception desk. Might it not be better to have a sign asking people to report to reception and employ them to make appointments?

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