to think the NHS shouldn't just cancel appointments with no explanation?

(18 Posts)
ruledbyheart Fri 02-Aug-13 11:25:04

So annoyed I went to the GP on the 25th June to ask to be referred to be sterilsed, yes I am still heavily pregnant but I know there is a long waiting list so keen to get the ball rolling.

All went well GP more than happy to refer me given my circumstances and I get an appointment letter for an appointment in September so its a fair wait just to see the Gynaecologist for approval to go on the waiting list.

Now today I get a cancellation letter of my appointment with no explanation just saying its been cancelled and I need to go back to the GP to be re-reffered.

I am pissed off the next available GP appointment is 2.5weeks away bang on my due date so I have to wait till next week to even make the doctors appointment for the end of August then hope they agree to refer me again and then wait another month to be told when my appointment would be - probably after Christmas.

I just want to be sterilsed I cannot mentally or physically go through another pregnancy, I cannot take hormonal contraception and have tried the copper coil which doctors need to remove less than 6 months later due to complications.

I cannot afford to go private (not through lack of trying to save).

IABU to think they could have at least given me a reason as to why they cancelled so maybe I wouldn't be quite so annoyed at starting all over again.

HollyBerryBush Fri 02-Aug-13 11:28:30

Probably due to personal circumstances of the staff - do you really need to know that the consultants mother died? or he has an illness himself?

but as your GP has made a referral and the hospital has cancelled the appt, it should be rescheduled - so phone them

ruledbyheart Fri 02-Aug-13 11:31:18

There is more than one gynecologist at the hospital and they won't let me rebook unless through the doctor .
personal circumstances of the Gynaecologist fair enough but surely they would rearrange the appointment can't understand why I have to go back to square one with no explanation.

CajaDeLaMemoria Fri 02-Aug-13 11:32:42

Just call the GP and they will put the referral through again. They shouldn't need to see you again. You may need a telephone appointment at the very most.

NHS appointments get cancelled all the time. You are lucky you got notice - I've been in the waiting room when I've been told it's cancelled more often than I can remember. Usually, no reason is given. The consultants deserve a level of privacy too, I suppose, and it doesn't really matter anyway. Knowing that something terrible has happened wouldn't make you less annoyed, although you may treat the staff better, just as knowing that the consultant wanted a longer lunch would only make you angrier.

Not that I think they cancel for reasons like that!

Call the GP, and get them to send it through again. Stress how much you need to be on the list, because you can't have the copper coil for longer than 6 months, and you'll soon be back on the list for another appt.

Crinkle77 Fri 02-Aug-13 11:33:14

Maybe the reasons are confidential. It is probably complicated and it is not possible to go in to the ins and outs of it.

NotYoMomma Fri 02-Aug-13 11:33:44

I would ring gp in morning and make an emergency appointment and ask for the re- referral

explain about your due date and its causing you stress and anxiety and voila, job done

ps, I got a referral for physio just by ringing up the reception and playing nice, they did it in their spare time having already seen me

PearlyWhites Fri 02-Aug-13 11:33:49

Could your dh/dp not get the snip?

CajaDeLaMemoria Fri 02-Aug-13 11:34:12

Although, thinking about it, if they've sent you back to your GP it could be that they aren't happy with the referral for some reason. Possibly because you are heavily pregnant? I know my local hospital won't agree to sterilisation until six months after the birth, for hormonal reasons.

Typically you'd just get sent another appointment, or told to wait for one.

thenightsky Fri 02-Aug-13 11:34:16

As someone who's job is to run clinics, cancel clinics, make appointments, deal with outcomes of clinics etc, I'm very shocked you have been totally cancelled and sent back to your GP!

Did your original appointment letter have a named consultant on there? If yes, then ring the hospital and ask for that consultant's secretary who should be able to explain what is going on.

I regularly have to cancel large clinics because doctors suddenly announce they are going on holiday with no regard to how much work it causes the admin staff or the feelings and upset to the patients. However, I would never send a patient back to their GP as that would mean discharging them off the consultant's list with no medical reason. If the clinic is not running on the date you were given, you should have been given another date instead.

livinginwonderland Fri 02-Aug-13 11:36:40

They get cancelled ALL the time. DP had a procedure on his knee a month ago and it was cancelled at least twice before he actually had it done, often days or even hours before the allotted time.

You're lucky you have this much notice, although the appointment list SHOULD just be moved to a different date. It's very odd that you have to go back to your GP.

Sirzy Fri 02-Aug-13 11:42:34

In have no problem with appointments being changed but they should have rearranged a new one or at least given you a contact number to arrange it.

foslady Fri 02-Aug-13 11:48:31

Can understand how you upset you are, but how would you feel if you'd been the one who had to cancel and the consultant insisted on knowing why?
Unfortunately it's part of the shit life throws at us.

Loveitall Fri 02-Aug-13 11:50:07

Cancelling is sometimes unavoidable but they should have given you another date not ask to re-refer...I would ring up the clinic and ask to speak to the consultants secretary and ask why you can't just be given another app. Xx

HomeHelpMeGawd Fri 02-Aug-13 12:03:27

There are an amazing number of posts here that appear to be saying "count yourself lucky" or "who the fuck are you to complain" or similar.

Let's do a thought experiment. Imagine booking a meal in a restaurant... and then getting a call from the restaurant saying they're cancelling your table. It's more or less unthinkable, right? It would only happen in absolute extremis. And they'd obviously tell you what's happened ("I'm so sorry to do this, but there's a been a bereavement / a fire / a flood etc"). And you'd be fairly pissed off, in all likelihood. And that's just for a meal. For a medical appointment, you'd hope that additional efforts would be made not to cancel except if absolutely necessary. But the system is not designed to do what's right for patients in this way.

Instead, patients are treated peremptorily and life is made much too difficult for them. It's ridiculous, really.

pinksancerre Fri 02-Aug-13 12:03:57

I would suspect this is not about the hospital but more about funding. Some ccg's (used to be pct) have strict criteria and restricted funding for sterilisation. The gp probably has some hoops to jump through!

VerlaineChasedRimbauds Fri 02-Aug-13 12:04:26

I think I would expect some kind of explanation - however busy they are and however difficult it is. It takes very little effort to add a line to a letter that is going out.

Communication keeps patients happy and ultimately makes the job of NHS staff easier because they don't have to detail with infuriated patients. It's just like being on a delayed train - if no-one communicates with you the bad feeling builds. An apology, acknowledgement and "we will let you know when we have more information" just diffuses tension.

If it is something to do with a staff's personal life (seems unlikely at this distance really) then just "staffing difficulties on that day" would do. Then they could give an alternative date - or ask you to book again. If it is because they need you to speak to the GP again then they should say that.

No explanation whatsoever is rude and creates bad feeling without needing to. It's a question of showing some respect for the patient. If I had to cancel an appointment (as a patient) I would feel that, out of politeness, I needed to give some kind of reason - I wouldn't need to go into detail.

Sidge Fri 02-Aug-13 12:09:22

If the clinic was cancelled or rescheduled then they'd just put you on the list and send you a new appointment.

If they've cancelled the referral and asked you to go back to the GP for re-referral it may be that the consultant (who usually pre-assesses the referral letters) has not accepted the referral, or considers it more appropriate for you to be referred to someone else.

You don't really need an appointment to see the GP - phone and leave a message for him/her saying that your referral has been rejected and you'd like to know why and what to do next. It may be that the GP referred to the wrong speciality and just needs to generate a new referral letter elsewhere.

ruledbyheart Fri 02-Aug-13 12:21:14

Thank you I will phone the GP and see if she can do it that way.

It's just frustrating as the GP agrees I don't have another option due to my circumstances, trust me going for any operation isn't something I want to do unless absolutely necessary.

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