"West Middlesex - really poor appointment administration"

About: West Middlesex University Hospital / General surgery

(as the patient),

I was referred to West Mid for minor day surgery and duly received an appointment. The hospital cancelled this (which was fine as my case wasn't urgent) and sent me another one, but I was ill the week before and my GP advised me to delay the operation as she did not recommend a general anaesthetic while I had a bad cough.

I had to make around 15 telephone calls over several days attempting to contact the clinic to cancel the appointment. The clinic telephone was never answered - my calls to that number always went to voicemail until the mailbox was full so I could no longer leave a message. None of my voicemail messages were ever returned.

In desperation I rang several other clinics and was given the number of the appointment administrator's manager. I rang her and explained my problem expecting an apology and an explanation for the appalling service. Instead she said: 'I'll transfer you now as she is sitting opposite me and tell her to pick the phone up'! - still with a full voicemail box and still never answering the phone.

I then contacted the Patient Advisory Service at the hospital to ask how I could register my concern that the appointments process was so poor and they did not reply to my email either, so I gave up.

This is wasting valuable hospital resource (I spoke to 5 people in the end instead of just 1) and as such is a waste of our taxpayers money, never mind the inconvenience to me as a patient.

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