"Poor communication"

About: West London Mental Health NHS Trust / Gender Identity Clinic

(as the patient),

I am being discharged from the clinic's counselling service as a result of an appointment being rescheduled and me not receiving the communication in time.

An appointment was made for me to come to the clinic. Some time later, the appointment was rescheduled to two days earlier. The clinic staff say a letter was sent out to my address to inform me of the change. In the meantime, though, I had changed address and had not notified the clinic yet. Although I applied for a post redirection from my old address, the letter never came to me. I think it is utterly ridiculous that the clinic does not take any steps to inform patients through text, phone call or email, but only chooses to send out paper letters. What do we give our full contact details for? As a result of this poor communication, I have not only wasted one day's leave from work, but I have also been discharged from the counselling service when this was not even remotely my responsibility. I do understand that the clinic must provide for many more patients than there are currently resources from, but I am very unhappy about this. And I think a very easy solution could be found, just use phone and email.

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Response from Lee Wroth, Service Manager, West London Mental Health NHS Trust

Dear HL

We are sorry to hear that you think we have acted in a way that was less than satisfactory for you and apologise for any distress that may have caused. Whilst we understand that you have been discharged and that this is not what you would have wanted to happen, we do have to rely on our service users contacting us when they change their details: address, GP, name etc. Without this contact we will not be able to send communications to the correct address, and therefore, keep you informed should any changes need to occur. To that end, it is the responsibility of the service user - as it is for all NHS service users - to advise when details change. It should be clarified, however, that we do try and contact service users when we change an appointment, but it would seem that we were unable to do this in this instance.

With regard to your comments on the usage of other media, we are looking at being able to implement additional routes in the future. That unfortunately is not straightforward, as we have to update our Consent Form to reflect the additional routes, which we are currently in the process of doing. As soon as we have completed that work which has significant legal implications, we will advise all of our service users accordingly.

We do ask that you contact us directly following your discharge so that we may review the situation on your behalf.


Lee Wroth

Service Manager - GIC

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