"Clean Friendly Hospital BUT making an..."

About: Altrincham General Hospital / Dermatology

This year you have changed the way appointments are made and follow up patients are put on a waiting list. I attended the hospital in May 2016 and handed in a follow up appointment request from my consultant for October, I still haven't had an appointment from that follow up request and am on a "waiting list", as its fully booked for October, how has this happened? If the consultants wants to see me again from an appointment in May, why cant I make it in May for October? Its an absolute Joke, I cant see my consultant now as the diary is always booked up with new referrals. The nurse had to put my appointment in her diary and ask the consultant to "nip in" to see me, double booking appointments. You need to change it back to what it was, re-occurring conditions and follow up appointments must be necessary if consultants as you to come back so Im not wasting time making appointments for the sake of it. Why cant you just make an appointment when I ask for one to be made? The hospital is extremely clean the staff are friendly and helpful but I feel sorry for the receptionists because I know they are faced with this problem and patients are not happy. What are you going to do about this? How do I get to see my consultant without waiting months and months for a free cancellation slot? Thanks for looking into this for me.

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Response from Patient Experience Team, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust

We are very sorry to receive your comments and concerns via the NHS Choices website about your experiences with regards to making a follow up outpatient appointment.

The Manager for Trafford Hospital Out Patients Department explains that the standards for outpatient department have been reviewed and reset and the appointment booking process changes have been implemented as part of this review. All patients who require an appointment within 6 weeks of being seen by their consultant will be allocated a date for follow up and notified of the date by post. Patients who have been assessed as needing an appointment 7 weeks + will be placed on a waiting list. Any identified issues with clinic capacity are escalated to senior management for resolution. The process will be closely monitored to avoid patient appointments not being arranged in a timely manner.

The Out Patient Manager is very sorry that you have found the new system to be unsuitable and can only apologise for the frustration you experienced on your visit to the outpatients department. Any new system requires a period of adjustment and it is hoped that once fully embedded, the appointment booking process changes will prove to be effective in efficiently managing patient appointments.

We were very pleased to hear that you found our staff to be friendly and helpful and that you felt the hospital was clean. The Out Patient Manager will ensure that your comments are shared with staff.

It is very difficult to respond to the specific concerns you have raised without being able to investigate in detail. We take all issues surrounding patient care very seriously and would very much like to hear from you directly about this. Please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 0161 276 8686 or by e-mailing pals@cmft.nhs.uk they will be happy to discuss this with you.