"Complete lack of communication"

About: Barnet Hospital

What I liked

Nothing, as the hospital failed to give us an appointment

What could be improved


Anything else?

My daughter - who is seriously unwell with probable ME/CFS, was referred in late September 2012 to the Consultant in the Neurology Department. We were told the waiting time for an appointment would be 1 month. After a couple of weeks, during which we had heard nothing from the hospital, I attempted to contact the Consultant's secretary to check that the referral had been received, that the hospital had our correct contact details, & that we had not missed any appointment notification. This took until the end of October, as emails were returned as 'undeliverable' & phone messages were not responded to - even when I did manage to navigate Barnet Hospital's phone system!

Having eventually spoken to the secretary, who reassured me that the referral had gone through & my daughter was 'in the system' (although no appointment had yet been made), and having made sure our contact details were correct (the referral had been made by the GP at my daughter's University), we waited to receive an appointment. We received neither a phone call nor a letter during the following 2 weeks. Then, at an early November appointment with our local GP, he showed us a letter informing him that we had 'failed to respond' to requests to contact the Neurology Department to arrange an appointment, and my daughter had therefore been 'discharged'.

I am thoroughly disgusted with this total waste of time, and am very relieved that our GP has now referred my daughter to the Royal Free Hospital's specialist ME/CFS clinic.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Barnet Hospital

As an organisation we are committed from learning from specific issues and from any mistakes we have made. Hearing about where we can do better helps us to pinpoint where exactly to make improvements to the service we provide. We apologise that you had a poor experience of our services. Your comments have been forwarded to the Central Appointments Manager.

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