"Appointment mess-up - passing the buck!"

About: Worcestershire Royal Hospital / Dermatology

(as the patient),

I was referred to Worcestershire Royal Hospital dermatology clinic for an Outpatients appointment by my GP.

I booked online, received my letter of appointment from the Hospital, and arrived for my appointment l ate in the afternoon.The Hospital had cancelled the appointment without telling me, and subsequently locked me out of the online patient booking system.

When I arrived, the nurse told me the clinic had been cancelled as none of the letters of confirmation to other patients had been sent out, thus nobody else had turned up that afternoon. She referred me to the Appointments line (of Chose and Book) to make a new appointment and complain that THEY had cancelled my appointment.

I spoke to the Chose and Book service and they confirmed that the Hospital had taken my appointment off the 'Chose and Book' system (hence the lock-out), 14 days after the hospital had sent out the confirmation letter, and the hospital had placed a note on the system that there would be a 'manual re-book' by the Hospital.

No confirmation of cancellation was ever received and no rebook was ever made.

When I spoke to my GP's secretary, she confirmed the details and confirmed that I would have to ring the Hospital to re-book. I rang the Hospital, who denied any knowledge of the cancellations and referred me to another doctor's clinic, at another hospital within the group.

I spoke to the person I had been referred to, only to find that this was incorrect and they put me straight back to the department I had just rung. Finally they made a new appointment for me, however there was no acknowledgement of the time I had wasted or any apology. I was made to feel it was my responsibility that this had happened!

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Response from Head of Communications, Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

We apologise for the difficulties you experienced on this visit to Worcestershire Royal Hospital – this is certainly not the experience we would like our patients to have.

As part of ongoing improvement within the Trust, we value your comments and they will be used as part of aiding us with our overall review of procedures for such occasions.

I would like to once again apologise for any inconvenience that was caused to yourself and we hope that your experiences following this episode were more pleasant.

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