"Cancelled outpatient appointment 1 hour after I arrived"

About: St Helier Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as the patient),

I had an appointment this afternoon with the Trauma and Orthopaedic Clinic at St. Helier Hospital, Carshalton. I arrived half an hour before my appointment so that I could have an x-ray at the start of clinic. This was a rearranged appointment, as the one booked for early February had been cancelled at short notice.

The x-ray form had not been signed and so I was told I would have to wait. The nurses were there at the beginning of the clinic but after about 15 minutes announced to the patients in the waiting area that the doctors were on their way from Epsom hospital. After another 15 minutes, a nurse informed us that they were trying to find out what was happening. Then finally around a further 15 minutes later, we were told that the doctors were in a conference and had forgotten to cancel the clinic.

This seems terrible service, resulting in me missing work at great inconvenience and now I need to book more time off. I would appreciate a proper explanation of what happened and how it was allowed to happen.

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Response from Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust

Thank you for your response and we are sorry to hear of your cancelled appointment. Where possible we do try to give patients notice of cancelled appointments either through writing to them or by calling. Sometimes on rare occasions such as this, things slip through the net.

We agree with you, this is not a good service and we apologise. This feedback will go back to the relevant department.

Dr James Marsh

Joint Medical Director