"Impossible to make an appointment-worst possible..."

About: Royal Berkshire Hospital

Anything else?

I was referred by my GP for a gynecology appointment and received a letter in the post giving me a choice of where I had that appointment and how to make it. Two hospitals were suitable for me, with one, Royal Berks, having half the waiting time of the other. The only option to book an appointment at the Royal Berks is by phone line (apparently open from 9-5 Mon to Fri). I have now tried over two days and for a total of 4 hours (6 phone calls lasting between 10 and 50 minutes on hold each) but have yet to get through to an operator.

What an utterly appalling system!

I am lucky enough to have my own office where I have been able to leave the phone on speaker while I get on with my work-what do people do who do not have this option?

I am at a complete loss as to how this system represents any kind of choice for patients if it is impossible to make an appointment.

At least now it is obvious to me why Royal Berks have half the waiting time of the other hospital (where one can make an appointment on-line)-clearly this is because no one can get through to make an appointment.

I would be grateful if someone would get back to me to explain why it has so far proved impossible to make an appointment and how they are planning to make this system better.

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Response from Royal Berkshire Hospital

We are very sorry that you experienced such difficulty in getting through to us; this is not the level of service that we aspire to and are usually able to provide. The introduction of our new Electronic Patient Record system has temporarily slowed our ability to respond to calls in a timely fashion; however, we are actively working to ensure that patients are not inconvenienced in the way that you describe.

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