"Outpatients booking cancelled without proper..."

About: Colchester General Hospital

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It has taken 5 months to get an appointment with the Urology department after my GP referred me to Colchester General hospital.

Today I attended the hospital only to find out my appointment was cancelled and moved forward to a more recent date without proper communication through post. Apparently re-scheduling is done via automated telecommunications. A message was left to my home phone a few weeks ago but on ringing back a pre-recorded message said there was no need to ring as it was only reminding me of my appointment, not specifying the new date or time.

At the hospital today the staff apologised profusely and could see someone had changed my appointment without sending out a letter.

This doesn't help my cause in that I had to take a day off from work and fly back (I was working in Munich, Germany). In total I must have wasted £700.00 in lost revenue and travel fees to attend a cancelled appointment at Colchester General.

Your communication to patients has to be improved if you are changing your appointments to avoid inconveniencing your patients. To cap it off I was given the registrars phone details, after leaving a message for them to re-schedule a new appointment I am still waiting for their call back.

A poor service Colchester General Hospital, I hope you take notice of this review and act on improving your communications.

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Response from Colchester General Hospital

I apologise you’ve not had a good patient experience. We try really hard to improve our services based on the comments we receive from our patients, their relatives or carers. We would like the opportunity to discuss your experiences more fully and to apologise in person. If you are willing I would appreciate it if I could ask the matron to contact you. Could you email me (with the reference "Comment on Urology at RDEE4-Colchester General Hospital at 09/05/2013") please? Many thanks -- Paul Searle, Head of Communications Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust info@colchesterhospital.nhs.uk

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