"Long, long, long waits for physiotherapy and..."

About: Croydon University Hospital

Anything else?

1. The waiting list, after referral is to long. It is not acceptable to have to wait over 13 weeks to get an appointment. 2. It is ridiculous , in this day and age, to find an answering machine, saying that sometimes their phones get busy- keep trying. How long do people have to keep trying? Why do they assume that we have nothing better to do than to sit on the phone they whole trying to find a slot when they might actually turn the ansamachine off to talk to a patient? 3 Why did "they" get rid of a whole swath of staff 3 years ago so that we now find ourselves waiting and waiting and waiting? 4. These services are an investment in patients or should be. 5. If they got their act together, they could prevent more problem and thus save money for the NHS. 6. How much more damage is being done to patient in the waiting time? 7. Nothing has improved since my 20 week wait for physio last year 8. Does anybody care? No

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Response from Croydon University Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to leave further feedback on this service. We apologise for the problems that you have had in getting hold of the podiatry team by phone. We have had to address some technical problems with our phone system recently, where patient calls were being diverted to voice mail too early and staff were unable to pick up the phones to answer these calls. This was clearly unacceptable, and we have engineers on site who are addressing this problem; unfortunately, the solution requires a degree of technical expertise to solve and is not as simple as ‘switching off’ an answer machine. We expect to have fixed the issue with the team’s voicemail shortly. The podiatry service is in high demand and we do realise that, although most patients are seen within the maximum 18 week waiting times set nationally, patients do experience a delay between when they are initially referred and when they are seen. The service does carefully prioritise the patients that it sees so that those patients with the most acute need who have clear risks to their wellbeing are seen first; we do recognise, however, that many patients who do not have this level of risk are often still in discomfort and we are committed to ensuring that everyone referred to this service is seen within the nationally agreed 18 week waiting time. Both our podiatry service and our physiotherapy service now have a good rate of retention of staff and a low number of vacant posts. We have recently filled the majority of vacancies within the physiotherapy service, which will reduce the waiting times for people using this service. We care very much about the experiences that our patients have of our services and would like to hear more about how you feel we can improve. Please do get in touch with our Patient Advise and Liaison Service (PALS) on talktous@croydonhealth.nhs.uk or on 020 8410 3210.

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