"Letters from the surgery and hospital"

About: Hackenthorpe Medical Centre Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

(as a relative),

We are having difficulty with our postman for the last few months.

As you know there many Rainbows, Carter Lodges, Carr Forges streets and to a stranger it may appear complex. I live on Carter Lodge Drive and am receiving mail for the Avenue and so are the others on our street. I know my mail has been going to the Avenue and have taken time out to approach the person living at this address and I have been to the sorting office at the Manor Top to complain and several postmen who are delivering wrong.

The reason for writing to you is to let you know that a neighbour said appointments had gone missing for the hospital.

My husband received a letter from you dated 18th and received it Friday 21st. Saturday 22nd in the evening he received another letter from you dated same day but it had been delivered to the Avenue.

They had put it back in the main post box and it had gone through the system again, because it was marked Private and Confidential and I had complained they must have made a special delivery of this letter.

Postage must cost you more than a phone call, if we put in a request for calls instead of letters would that be possible? I know that there may be a few difficulties with this but for us it would have saved almost a week's delay. I personally have had phone calls from your doctors.

The post office keeps changing the postmen in this region and I can see this problem keep occurring.

Also I should like to know why they have gone the route of not using a Sheffield phone number but the one that most of us have to pay more for as I only pay for ordinary phone numbers

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Response from Angela Powell, Hackenthorpe Medical Centre

Dear Tingleary,

I am very sorry to hear of your postal difficulties it must be very frustrating.

Its a shame that the Post Office cannot sort this out as we do pay vast amounts for postage.

In an effort to help with this problem we are more than happy to contact you by telephone, email or text when necessary.

As comments left on Patient Opinion are anonymised, please could you ensure we have both your names and current contact details including mobile number, email address and any relevant information regarding the best time to contact you. We can add a major alert message to your medical record to ensure staff use the correct method of contact.

We await contact from you with regard to this and hope it helps (if you prefer to use email, please email paulinepollard@nhs.net. Many thanks,

Angela Powell - Practice Manager

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Response from Angela Powell, Hackenthorpe Medical Centre

Just to address your last paragraph, we changed telephone numbers to the 0845 number because the Sheffield Primary Care Group wanted GP Surgeries to have one call access to out of hours (This probably was a national directive) unfortunately this was before my time so I'm not totally fully informed on the whys and wherefores. By using an 0845 number this meant that a patient ringing the surgery number outside of surgery hours would be put straight through to the GP Collaborative Out of Hours Service.

We do understand that these numbers can be excessive on some tarrifs and networks and are quite willing to ring patients back, once we have a call back number and ascertained that the call will cost more than a local call. In the long term, the Primary Care Group is in talks with the 0845 providing company in an effort to overcome this problem. I hope this answers your query.

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