"Making an appointment should not be this hard"

About: Forth Valley Community Services / Sexual Health

(as the patient),

The system to book sexual health / contraception appointments is ridiculous. This morning I had tried to call since 8:30am only to be told the line was too busy and hung up on. When I eventually joined the queue at 11:15am today, I ended up waiting in the queue for over 25mins before connecting. When I tried to book I was told there were no more appointments in my area and that if I want an appointment for Thursday, I have to phone back tomorrow and go through the whole process again. 

This is ridiculous. Average, working people cannot afford to spend hours on the phone calling and trying to get an appointment. No wonder STIs spread and there’s babies popping out when you can’t get an appointment to be checked or to get the contraception you need. It’s completely unacceptable, and I feel bad for those having to answer the phone calls. I now have to try and phone tomorrow, go through this whole process again and see if I can get an appointment for Thursday. There must be a way to streamline this and make it better for not only us as patients, but those working too. Making a simple appointment to get contraception fitted should not be this hard, someone who is less stubborn may give up. 

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Response from Kirsty Abu-Rajab, NHS Forth Valley

Dear Julytw45

Thank you for your comments, I am sorry this was your experience and understand your frustration.

We are working hard to address this with online booking commencing in the next couple of months. This will allow appointments to be made online for routine contraception and testing for sexually transmitted infections and will free up time for the phoneline.

If you would like to discuss this further please contact 01324 566523.

Once again apologies for the experience you had.

Kindest regards

Dr Kirsty Abu-Rajab
Consultant Genitourinary and HIV Medicine

Clinical Director Sexual Health and HIV,

NHS Forth Valley

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