How can you be 50 mins late for your clinic?

(90 Posts)
shade78 Wed 21-Nov-12 20:02:33

I took my dd to be weighed at the health visitor clinic today and was informed by the assistant that she was running late. Fine, I thought and settled down with the other 5 mums in the waiting room. My daughter has just turned 7 months and started solids, so life is a bit confusing re hunger and nap times, but she was in a fine mood at arrival. The health visitor didn't arrive until 50 mins after the start time! I am annoyed largely because this is not the first time this has happened, 2 previous appointments ran 45 mins + late.
I know really I know that times are tough and they are stretched, but I really feel this is part of a wider attitude of 'Mums with babies have nothing better to do.' If my doctors' practice were this late, there would be a room of very loud complainers that would be more listened to I'm sure...
I did phone the lead HV and complain and she said this HV had just got back from maternity and didn't know the clinic times. God could someone have told her? 6 mums waiting for nearly an hour for her royal highness HV.... grrr.....

LadyMaryChristmas Wed 21-Nov-12 20:04:41

HV's do a lot more than weigh and measure babies. Maybe she was at a child protection meeting, or was with a distressed new mother. You're being very harsh hmm

GhostShip Wed 21-Nov-12 20:04:58

Excuse me but these women do have lives you know, just like you do. How do you know her child wasnt ill, or something had gone wrong with child care? Or her car broke down... just a couple of the possibilities.


Sirzy Wed 21-Nov-12 20:06:47

Although how much your baby weighs is understandably top of your list of priorities for the HV it is one of a list of things they have to do, and compared to the others things one of the least important.

McChristmasPants2012 Wed 21-Nov-12 20:08:50

Yabu, HV do a lot more than clinics.

Out of interest, if there is no issues with DC why are you taking him/her to be weighed as I was told to only come to clinic if there was a problem.

Vivalebeaver Wed 21-Nov-12 20:10:30

If its her first week back off maternity leave then maybe someone told her the wrong time for clinic. I mean someone must have told her a time or she wouldn't have turned up at all.

Or she might have been trying to admit a baby who was poorly, helping someone struggling with breastfeeding, a child protection conference may have overrun.

In an idea world there would be more staff so that times between clinics or between clinics and visits weren't so tight. But there's that little money these days that staff numbers have been cut back and there's no slack in the system.

People don't like appts been late but nor are they prepared to pay an extra 10% tax to fund the Nhs better. You can't have your cake and eat it.

Think you're been harsh calling the hv a royal highness, I doubt she was swanning about having her nails done or whatever.

stoatie Wed 21-Nov-12 20:11:11

I have been 50 minutes late for a clinic. A midwife was off sick, an error was made and the clinic wasn't covered - error realised when Drs surgery rang the midwife office. I was doing post natal visits - I was asked to go and cover clinic (I was nearest) and my visits shared out to other midwives (so no doubt the visits were late as midwives now had extra workload.)

I apologised profusely to all the women (even though it was not my fault) who were all lovely and just glad that I covered the clinic (it was afternoon by the way and I had no lunch break!).

On other occasions I have had to be at the hospitals for meetings and then drive across the city in rush hour ( to be honest praying that first appt is late).

We are human - we don't plan to be late (often it results in us working late into the evening so all work covered)

Idocrazythings Wed 21-Nov-12 20:11:50

Ooh tell me where your doctors practice is… I want to go there! ours frequently runs late; and my previous one- well I used to phone them to see how late the doctor was so I could then arrive accordingly! It is very annoying though- our GP is considering getting wifi to help with waiting room boredom grin

HoneyDragon Wed 21-Nov-12 20:12:27

If she was misinformed of clinic times then why are you blaming her for being late?

Last time my GP surgery was running late no one complained. Next time they might be the one who had a massive coronary. 4 doctors were out of the surgery and they saved his life.

My Mum haemmoraged in the GPs too. Thank god she did so their and they kept her alive (just) till the paramedics came.

It's annoying to wait. You weren't made to wait because you are a mother. You were made to wait because of circumstance.

XBenedict Wed 21-Nov-12 20:12:50

50 minutes is very frustrating but I'm sure it wasn't because she had an extra latte in Costa and I'm also sure it wasn't because she thought you had nothing better to do than wait for her.

mrscog Wed 21-Nov-12 20:13:02

I think your tone is a bit U BUT I agree it's infuriating, and it's worse when there is no apology. I once had a consultant appointment for 8.30 am (that's what the letter said). So I arrived on time, and didn't make arrangements to get in to work late as I have to be there by 10am and 8.30 appointment, even if it ran over a bit gave me plenty of time. However, imagine my fury when the consultant waltzed in at 9.40! I wasn't even the first person on the list so I didn't get seen until nearly 10am and had loads of explaining to do at work. And to be honest I know that there could have been an emergency and would have been understanding - it was just the absolute lack of apology which pissed me off to the absolute max!

Chubfuddler Wed 21-Nov-12 20:13:03

I find all health professionals the same in this regard. I'm a lawyer, have hundreds of clients and I've never kept anyone waiting more than five minutes. The difference is my clients are paying.

cory Wed 21-Nov-12 20:13:14

Quite possibly she was dealing with an urgent case of potentially life threatening circumstances: a child that was at risk of abuse or suddenly spotted symptoms of a dangerous illness or a suicidal mother.

If a doctor arrived late on time I'd be more likely to assume that he'd been called out to a critically ill patient than sitting at home twiddling his fingers.

LadyMaryChristmas Wed 21-Nov-12 20:13:31

I used to work with a health visitor, you'd be surprised at what they do. It's not a fun job at all. If they are at a child protection meeting (these take up the vast majority of their time) then they can't control what time they finish. They help new mothers, and those with post natal depression, they weigh and measure babies, and they also work with people of all ages. When your child turns 5 you can still see a HV, even the elderly can see them.

Sirzy Wed 21-Nov-12 20:14:47

Chub - the differences in their clients could be dying.

When DS was 8 weeks old he was critically ill. The Peads team at the local hospital had 5 paediatricians on duty, 3 of them were helping to save his life that included one who was called out of a clinic.

Yes that means that some people will have had to wait longer to be seen, but it also meant my son is still alive.

When I was suffering from PND and wanting to chuck DS out of the metaphorical window my health visitor stayed with me for 90 minutes until my husband got home. Thank God for these health professionals who put people before the clock.

LadyMaryChristmas Wed 21-Nov-12 20:15:56

I expect you don't get emergencies then, Chub. What's the HV to do if she's needed urgently, if a child's welfare depends on it? Ignore the child in need so that she can go and weigh a baby? confused

XBenedict Wed 21-Nov-12 20:16:24

No Chub that's not the difference at all.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 21-Nov-12 20:17:18

No Chub, the difference is that you glance at your watch and say 'time up'. Which you are at liberty to do.
HCPs don't work that way, thank goodness.

Chub fiddler, I also suppose none of your clients is as rude as to have a heart attack in front of you.
I must remember not to be as deeply unprofessional as to spend extra time when breaking a cancer diagnosis.
How crass and naive you are.

Catsdontcare Wed 21-Nov-12 20:18:49

Tbh if you have a generally healthy 7 month old with no other concerns and you are prepared to hang around for an hour just to get her weighed then I would say yes you do have time on your hands.

Twiddles Wed 21-Nov-12 20:19:10

She could have been dealing with child protection,
Liaising with multi disciplinary team,
Essential updates
Ill child / post natal depression
Who knows ?
No one is going to be a health visitor for the great wages or cushy job,
Get over yourself !

Vivalebeaver Wed 21-Nov-12 20:19:38

Chubfuddler, the difference is you're allowed to plan your own diary. Or at least you're not going to overrun the hour slot per person, like you say they're paying.

A midwife and I imagine a hv gets allocated 10 minutes per appt in a clinic. Also expected to do a set number of visits a day. If someone is ill, upset, worried you can't set a stopwatch and say sorry you're ten minutes is up out you go.

I'm sure a solicitor would boot you out once your time is up. Unless you paid for more!

Idocrazythings Wed 21-Nov-12 20:20:27

Chub you also probably have nice half hour slots for your clients not a clinic over loaded with 10min appointments, plus overbooks for urgent patients and no breaks (even for a tampon change). I find your comment very offensive and not once, ever, have I given someone substandard care simply because they were not paying.

Vivalebeaver Wed 21-Nov-12 20:20:30

Your not you're.

mercibucket Wed 21-Nov-12 20:20:31

It's got nothing to do with paying and a lot to do with the nature of the job. My obs/gyne ws private and routinely late - was she supposed to do the em c sections by distance over the phone? then when I had the em c section, I was quite glad she didn't send anyone else to do it.
Op, as you actually know what the problem is, yabu. She wasn't getting her nails done

mercibucket Wed 21-Nov-12 20:20:31

It's got nothing to do with paying and a lot to do with the nature of the job. My obs/gyne ws private and routinely late - was she supposed to do the em c sections by distance over the phone? then when I had the em c section, I was quite glad she didn't send anyone else to do it.
Op, as you actually know what the problem is, yabu. She wasn't getting her nails done

cory Wed 21-Nov-12 20:20:58

I can just see Chub in a reincarnation as a heart surgeon packing up her tools and going "that's it, time's up, no time to sew him up, next please!" grin

SamSmalaidh Wed 21-Nov-12 20:22:07

50 minutes seems like a long time to wait just to get a 7 month old weighed? Couldn't you have weighed her yourself at home?

The HV probably something more pressing on that morning. I'm suprised they don't have a nursery nurse or assistant to do weighing.

McChristmasPants2012 Wed 21-Nov-12 20:22:08

Working in the nhs for the last 9 years has opened my eyes.

A patient was having cardiac arrest, all qualified hands on are that patient, yet some other patients have complaint because there Meds are late ( even after explaining to them there is an emergency)

MerryChristMoose Wed 21-Nov-12 20:22:15

That's nothing OP. I've had a 4 hour wait to see my OB. A close friend had to wait ALL DAY. She was then asked to rearrange her appt. and leave, but sat on the floor in his office reception and refused to leave until he saw her!

FoxSake Wed 21-Nov-12 20:23:02

YABU and asan aside it's pretty easy for you to weigh your baby yourself at home for future reference, save waiting just get on the scales without and the with and subtract. I never understand why there is a massive que of mums waiting to have babies weighed, it really is as if there is lots of women with nothing to do confused

PickledFanjoCat Wed 21-Nov-12 20:23:53

I had to wait nearly two hours at baby clinic once it was freakishly busy and she was apologetic..

Stuff happens. Other times I've breezed right in.

hazeyjane Wed 21-Nov-12 20:24:45

There is often a long wait for gps and at the hv clinic in our surgery. The gps are very good, and most don't mind waiting because they know it is because they take time with patient and don't try and rush them out of the door.

The hvs deal with so many varying queries and unless it is a home visit, then there are no set appointments, if I have to go to clinic it always takes ages, which means everyone has to wait even longer, so I ask for a hime visit.

I'm sure she didn't mean to be late.

cory Wed 21-Nov-12 20:26:02

Ah ChristmasPants, how different from ChubWorld where no cardiac arrest will ever last longer than the allotted 10 minutes!

Chubfuddler Wed 21-Nov-12 20:27:37

Dear dear. Some of you seem to be getting awfully shirty about actually making the same point I'm making - I don't keep people waiting for 50 minutes because I don't attempt to do more work than can actually be done. People expect certain levels of service and get them. I can't keep a client waiting 50 minutes because they'll walk out and not come back. The op doesn't have that choice with a HV.

I'll leave aside the carping that obviously I never do anything life changing or significant, which is of course crap.

scampidoodle Wed 21-Nov-12 20:27:43

I don't think you're being particularly unreasonable if no reason was given for the HV's lateness - it may have been caused by an emergency concerning another child or she might have missed her alarm.... I think your final comments are a bit unnecessary though. At least round here, there are administrators who work with the HV teams and do some of the back-office stuff, so if someone was going to be almost an hour late for a clinic I'd hope one of them would be able to get a message to the venue so those waiting could decide whether to bother staying or give up and go home. Obviously, if it was unmanned community centre or somewhere similar that might not have been possible, but if the place was open so you were able to get in then there must have been someone around...

XBenedict Wed 21-Nov-12 20:29:01

"I don't keep people waiting for 50 minutes because I don't attempt to do more work than can actually be done."

How lovely!

Skiffen Wed 21-Nov-12 20:29:28

Yabu for all the reasons stayed above. Also, you didn't have an appt, you went when the clinic wss meant to be on. Our local clinic was always super busy and a wait of that long wasn't unusual due to numbers regardless of punctuality.

Most children's centres/surgeries have self weigh areas now, so you could find one of those if weighing was all you wanted to do. If it's a specific issue you could ring and request a visit or ring back. You will still have to accept that child protection, pnd, domestic abuse and serious health concerns will lead to vague time keeping.

bondigidum Wed 21-Nov-12 20:29:31

What was so desperate and important that you had to wait 50 mins anyway? I know I would not be waiting around for almost an hour just to get DCs weighed..

ceeveebee Wed 21-Nov-12 20:30:02

I used to take my twins to be weighed weekly until 8 weeks, then monthly and now every other month. Never seen a health visitor anywhere near the clinic, always community nursery nurses. Took them today for 12 month checks and waited over an hour which us pretty normal for our local clinic. Just take food, toys etc to keep baby amused, and if wait gets too much just go the next week instead.

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Wed 21-Nov-12 20:30:22


whatatwat Wed 21-Nov-12 20:31:41

yabu at the highness bit.
but yanbu to be annoyed.
whoever booked you in, told you where to sit, should have told you she was running late.
all of you saying she should suck it up, as the hv could have been in an emergency, couldnt she have said ''sorry for the wait it was an emergency''.
what if one of those mums were suffering pnd and had built herself up to go see someone, being made to wait with no explanation could have made her walk away, and not get help.

cbeebiesatemybrain Wed 21-Nov-12 20:33:07

It is annoying to be kept waiting but I'm sure it was because someone else was in more urgent need of her time rather than her just not being bothered.

My mw was always running late when I went for antenatal appointments, she was so lovely and always took her time explaining things and answering questions. I never minded as I knew it could have been me taking a bit longer another time and I would rather see someone like that than someone in a rush to get the next person in.

Chubfuddler Wed 21-Nov-12 20:34:05

The health visitor wasn't dealing with a cardiac arrest, or an urgent case conference, or any other dr Kildare style emergency though. She'd just got the clinic time wrong. Which is kind of crap. She could at least have apologised.

McChristmasPants2012 Wed 21-Nov-12 20:34:23

Chub what is your business

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 21-Nov-12 20:35:19

Well done Chub hmm How nice to have the luxury, frankly.

What are you suggesting HCPs do? How would you feel about not being able to see a GP for a month because they were being careful not to 'try to do more work than could be done'?

Vivalebeaver Wed 21-Nov-12 20:38:33

Chubfuddler, fair enough but you're coming across like you think it's a he's fault for taking on more work then they can do. They don't have that level of control to decide how many visits they can do.

The authority/pct will only employ x number of health visitors, if there are x number plus 10 visits that day that all need doing, added to the unpredictable nature of the visits what can the individual health visitor do about it?

The pct would rather the public sit around waiting for staff than having staff sitting about waiting for patients. Far more economical. That's the difference between public and private sector. There aren't the big profits which enable down time/buffer time to be factored into the day.

Chubfuddler Wed 21-Nov-12 20:38:47

I frequently can't get an appointment with a GP for at least a fortnight and I'm still kept waiting for a good half an hour, even if its the first appointment of the day.

There are lots of marvellous things about the NHS but managing expectations and general client care isn't one of them. I just get a but sick of the attitude that we should all be so grateful all the time for the NHS. I am grateful to individuals working within it, but it's a system we have little choice about using, it costs a lot of money and it should be a darned sight better than it is frankly.

Chubfuddler Wed 21-Nov-12 20:40:54

But that's kind of what I'm saying viva, and it's crap. And some patients are to blame - they see it as "free" so they think it doesn't matter if they DNA without cancelling, or are late, or haven't followed the prep procedure properly for their consultation etc etc. masses of clinical time wasted.

Sirzy Wed 21-Nov-12 20:43:16

I think your last post is very true Chub. DS has spent a lot of time in hospitals and clincs and the way some people act is madness. The things which turn up at a and e which should be treated at home, the people who complain because the nurse can't drop everything to make a bottle of milk up etc etc.

Last time DS was in a peads clinc they had a DNA rate for the previous month on the board and it was over 20% - its no wonder they over book clinics if they are expecting 1 in 5 not to turn up.

shade78 Wed 21-Nov-12 20:43:45

Thanks for all your comments... all taken on board- yes I too think weighing is a bit paranoid for pfb. I was just annoyed at the lack of communication in the team, couldn't the lead have told her she was assigned to a clinic that morning? Hey ho... won't be doing that again!

XBenedict Wed 21-Nov-12 20:43:54

I agree with you Chub but unfortunately the pressure from above means the service is unable to meet patient expectations with the resources available.

Willdoitinaminute Wed 21-Nov-12 20:44:01

My mum was a HV. She was dedicated to her job and would give her home phone number to any mum she thought needed it. She was often to be found on the phone late at night reassuring a new mother. She also had her own family who had to be tended to when ill or had an emergency. She also suffered from equipment failure ie the car didn't start.
Most of us only ever come across HV when our children arrive. They do so much more. They are closely involved in child protection. They may seem like interfering busy bodies but without them so many vulnerable children would end up becoming statistics and headlines in the tabloids.
All health professionals are human even if they don't always seem so. They have lives outside work and contrary to popular belief their staff don't just hang them on the back of the door as they switch off the lights and leave at the end of the day.
Sorry for being preachy.

scampidoodle Wed 21-Nov-12 20:44:22

I agree with you, Chubfuddler. You've said it more succinctly than I would have done. And look what happens when anyone dares to complain... (or just have a moan).

McChristmasPants2012 Wed 21-Nov-12 20:44:46

Chub I wish people would get charged for missing appointments, I was reading the posters around my GP and it cost £20 for a missed appointment and last month 81 appointment was DNA

VivaLeBeaver Wed 21-Nov-12 20:45:31

Yes and in maternity if a patient doesn't turn up it actually makes more work. You have to ring them and try and rearrange an appt. you then have to go to the hospital, find their hospital notes in the filing room and document that you've rung and offered them another appt.

So rather than 10mins of your day been saved, it's more like 30 mins plus of your day is wasted.

Chubfuddler Wed 21-Nov-12 20:46:26

Oh yes I completely agree with a charge for missed appointments, it is not hard to phone or text to say you aren't coming.

procrastinor Wed 21-Nov-12 20:50:58

If she's been given the wrong times then that's hardly her fault.

But it's incredibly hard to manage patients within the NHS. My probably half of my clinics we run to time, then there's a few clinics that we standing around like numpties waiting for the next patient to turn up. Then there's some where we run an hour or two late. Because some patients need to have problems explained to them, diagnoses given, management plans broken down and admission arranged. How do you intend I sort that out? Give longer time slots but thereby have longer waiting lists and more time twiddling my thumbs.

HVs do important and unpredictable work. I can well imagine that they can run late because they put the patients needs first and would hope that others can understand.

On a side note, I had a patient complain they didn't get a cup of tea because we were busy with an arrest call on the patient in the bed next to them. Beggars belief.

heronsfly Wed 21-Nov-12 20:51:05

An hours wait for doc/nurse/midwife ect is the norm our surgery,and I cant believe that they are all always out on emergency calls,most of it is to a lack off general client care as other posters have said.
I had a phone call from our surgery the other day to book an appointment for a flu jab, patients are being given two minute slots and the very snooty receptionist told me to attend at' 9.26 PRECISELY'on Saturday any earlier or later and I will NOT be seen, I am very interested to see if they can run to time when it suits them .

VivaLeBeaver Wed 21-Nov-12 20:52:10

Surely you could arrive at 9:24 but just not be seen till9:26! grin

If they send you home for been 2 minutes early then that's bad.

I work for NHS (and I do run late because I cannot guarentee that my patients will turn up on time, get ready, be treated, get ready to leave and be out in 20 minutes. Plus the tidying up, swabbing down and note writing that I have to do).

WRT chardging for appointments- it would have to be a blanket all-or-nothing. If someone misses an appointment because their spouce was ill, is it fair to charge them? If they are kept late by a taxi, a hospital or GP visit?

I've frequently phoned a patient who hasn't attended, they will argue "No my appointment is tomorrow"
When I ask them to check, I get "Oh, well, I wasn't well today, I couldn't have come out today".

So if someone missed ,what's to stop them saying they were ill. We don't know hmm

BobblyGussets Wed 21-Nov-12 20:53:58

I was grateful to my HV when I was crazy with horrific PND. I was so grateful that they were ALWAYS so willing to visit me when I flipped my lid.

On the other hand, everyone is being unnecessarily harsh to the OPhmm. Can't you all remember when you first had a baby and your world almost ceased to exist as you knew it? Looking after a baby takes all your time and all your worries and interests are concentrated on baby rearing? I think a late baby clinic is annoying and if you are a new mother who is a bit on edge, a lack of regard for you time will be annoying. I remember what it was like OP. HVs do have other more important things to do, but when you are in your baby world worrying about feeding times, it can make you stressed. YANBU. You came on here to vent, you didn't kick of at clinic.

I don't see what Chubfudder had done wrong except to point out the difference in quality of service when paying and when not. Meh. She was just illustrating the fact that the standard of care/service that the OP received was substandard. This is not untrue, but an apology and an explanation from HV would have gone some way to salving the situation.

Sirzy Wed 21-Nov-12 20:55:09

With flu jabs it easier though because assuming everyone has had one before then it is simply a case of in and out.

with normal appointments it is impossible to know how long is needed. Some times you need a couple of minutes in and out, others someone may start pouring their heart out, or be upset about a diagnosis, or need a new treatment plan explained or anything - do you expect the doctor to just kick them out after their time is up?

When my DC had 2 see a Paed Consultant, we got there maybe 15 minutes before the time. They were weighed, measured, did a wee sample then sat in a small waiting room and waited. And waited.

There were 3 Consultants. There were 10 chairs. My DC and I were using 3 of them. Patients going in and out.
Our Paed consultant was late (ward round).

One hour and fifty minutes after our appointment time (not counting I was early), I asked when we would be seen. (I thought maybe we would be longer because they had to test the urine and fill in records).

Very rude member of staff "Who are you" she asked?
I was told "Oh, I thought you'd been seen"

If I'd been seen, why the feck would I sit nearly 2 hours.They walked past me every five minutes shock

<< Totally irrelevant rant there, but venting your angry feels better>>

LadyMaryChristmas Wed 21-Nov-12 21:07:37

I missed two appointments. They sent the appointment letters to the wrong address. I did tell them that I'd moved, both in A&E and on a ward. It's not always the patient's fault.

XBenedict Wed 21-Nov-12 21:09:21

I've also missed 2 appointments recently for DD's pre school booster as they arrived after the appointment date!

socharlotte Wed 21-Nov-12 21:10:23

The difference is my clients are paying.
so are we!! or I was last time I looked at my payslip!

Chubfuddler Wed 21-Nov-12 21:11:17

Well that's just adding grist to my "the nhs is a bit shit in some ways" mill tbh...

mamamibbo Wed 21-Nov-12 21:14:38

i understand its annoying but i always think, what if her last appointment was a new mum thats struggling and shes stayed to help her?

SugarplumMary Wed 21-Nov-12 21:15:26

its no wonder they over book clinics if they are expecting 1 in 5 not to turn up.
Friends and family with long term condition have all had the experience at least once of letter telling them of appointment or clinic time arrive after the clinic date has happened.

If I was the OP I’d have probably just tried the week after.

I usually assumed medical and density appointments will run late – hospital ones 2 /3 hours and I had that with young DC– and assume it is for a good reason. Though very occasionally it has become very clear to me there hasn’t been a good reason.

In the dept I work in the patients either phone for the appointment or if the next appointment is less than 6 weeks, we book it and write it on the appointment card.
Very few are posted out,

Still have a too high a DNA rate (though it will never be 0%

Sirzy Wed 21-Nov-12 21:21:02

70isalimit - that is how it works at the peads clincs we go to, and still they have such a high DNA rate.

VivaLeBeaver Wed 21-Nov-12 21:22:22

Socharlotte. Yes you do pay national insurance but you're not paying for that specific appt. if you were paying £50 to see the health visitor for that appt then no I don't think it would happen.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 21-Nov-12 21:22:26

People regularly wait twice as long as that to see consultants when they have actual genuine health problems, that tend to be more important than babies nap times.

It's horrible how long people are made to wait. In my experience, of NHS hospital appointments, it often because they are seeing private patients too, and they don't want them to have to wait. It's only going to get worse.

SugarplumMary Wed 21-Nov-12 21:29:53

See I don't get that 70isaLimitNotaTarget - if I make an appointment I keep it or cancel it.

My friends and family are often being seen by several different departments and sometimes hospitals - and often waiting long times for appointment to come through - so it’s not like they can chase or have any idea when the appointment could possibly be.

I have had an unpleasant experience of trying to cancel an assigned appointment - I couldn't do that time and day as something else medically important was happening – it was dam near impossible multiply phone calls to multiple people none of who were very pleasant to talk with. I wasn’t even trying to rebook just cancel – I very nearly gave up if I was less stubborn I would have.

It doesn’t sound like that applies to your department but I do wonder what the no show rate was with that one.

VivaLeBeaver Wed 21-Nov-12 21:32:15

The last three appts I've had at the hospital I got the letter after the appt. apparently there is a six week backlog on letters.

The last appt was for an actual operation. Thankfully I rang the consultants secretary one afternoon to ask her if she had any idea when the op was. Was a bit stunned to be told tomorrow morning!

Sirzy Wed 21-Nov-12 21:33:25

Alder Hey is the easiest for cancelling appointments, you can simply fill in a form on their website, tick that you need a new appointment and it comes in the post a few days later.

They also go slightly over the top send out text reminders and a pre recorded phone call to remind you of the appointment, oh and a letter to remind you if it was booked way in advance. Actually it would be close on impossible to forget you had an appointment with them!

whiteandyelloworchid Wed 21-Nov-12 21:36:47

perhaps the hv was busy promoting formula feedinghmm
thats all mine ever seems to do

Sidge Wed 21-Nov-12 21:43:25

Why on earth would you take a healthy 7 month old to be weighed??

No wonder HV clinics are so overstretched hmm

heronsfly Wed 21-Nov-12 21:45:39

I had a appointment at 9o/c at the maxillofacial unit in our local hospital , the clinic didn't actually start till 10.30, I don't understand why they make appointments at times when they are fully aware that patients are not going to be seen.

Phineyj Wed 21-Nov-12 21:50:51

The thing is, apologies/explanations for lateness cost nothing and would go some way to making the patient feel better. Some health services just don't care how long you wait, while others are efficient - even within the NHS. I do think it puts people off making appointments, knowing they may wait hours and be in trouble with work as a result. And don't get me started on how there never seem to be any appointments after 4pm and all antenatal stuff must happen at your "local" hospital even if you work an hour away!

fedupofnamechanging Wed 21-Nov-12 21:54:56

I'm with the OP. The HV wasn't late because she was dealing with an emergency, in which case no one would be feeling cross. The HV was late because she got the times wrong.

My experience of baby clinics is that they are generally poorly organised. Have seen many mums wait for ages to see the HV, then have to leave without doing so, because they need to collect their other children from school. And yes, I think there is a bit of an attitude from some, that mothers have got nothing else to do but wait around.

I bought a set of electronic baby scales and weighed my youngest at home. So much more convenient and better than taking my baby to a doctors surgery filled with sick people. Why do they do this? Surely it would be better for newborns not to be in the same room as people who are sick.

heronsfly Wed 21-Nov-12 21:58:03

I think Phineyj has made a very good point, I really would understand, and wait patiently if a member of the nhs was running late for a good reason, and this was explained to me, and I was given the option of maybe rebooking.
I think it is the snooty attitude that we should all sit and wait quietly for hours and be thankful,that winds people up.

TwitchyTail Wed 21-Nov-12 22:01:08

As someone who runs clinics myself, as well as attends them (as a patient), here is my view:

- health professionals should TRY their best to keep their clinics to time. That means any factors within their control (eg leaving extra time for travel, preparing in advance so time isn't wasted on unnecessary things) should be dealt with.

- if the clinic is unavoidably running late (and it does happen sometimes due to emergencies), they should APOLOGISE to the patient and offer a brief explanation, if they have kept them waiting any longer than 15 minutes.

- if a clinic is always running late, then there is a problem with the management of the clinic that should be actively addressed.

This is what I do in my clinics, and expect the same courtesy when I am on the other side as a patient.

I'm a health care professional too (hopefully a dedicated and thorough one) .
I have collegues who run on time all the time because they point blank refuse to see anyone who is late. For whatever reason.

I always give someone the benefit the first time they are late but will say that they might not be seen.
Amazing how many patients get really angry and say "Well I'm frequently kept waiting".
I'm not sitting there supping tea. I'm in a hour before my first appointment to get everything ready.
I often have a day with extra paperwork because it wasn't done previously (by collegues hmm )

Every day I'm juggling time. I'd love to run on time. I'd love to have a full lunchbreak. Should I just start saying "No. 10 minutes late. Not seeing you"?
But when you are dealing with people, you don't know what to expect.
But tomorrow is another day.

I do think an explanation helps and an indication of the waiting time. I have a routine hospital appointment (screening for a condition) every year. It often runs late but that is usually because the consultant is held up in theatre or similar (I just take a book and treat it as a bit of me time). Another appt we were told when we arrived that the consultant was running 1hr late so I went out and had coffee in a nearby cafe and wandered back 45 mins later.

My hospital does send text reminders and I think its a great idea.

Pictureperfect Wed 21-Nov-12 23:08:59

I had a doctor who always ran late, it was a bit frustrating sitting in a waiting room for what felt like forever but it was because he gave each patient however much time they needed rather than clock watching and hurrying someone out. Better to have someone running late due to work than someone who walks out at the set time no matter what

DayShiftDoris Wed 21-Nov-12 23:39:50

Worked in HNS for many years including mw and HV plus did a stint in clinic.

Being late / running late is unavoidable but good communication, an apology and an explanation once seen can go a long way and should not be too much to ask as a patient.

gasman Wed 21-Nov-12 23:46:29

I have a friend who has a clinic in one hospital in which their last appointment (a 30 minute slot) starts at 12:30pm.

Their next clinic starts at 1:30pm.

The only snag - the hospitals are 40 minutes apart by car and that is assuming that there is no traffic and you get parked straight away.

She has been asking the management team for months to either change the day of one of the clinics or change the times. They don't do it so she is always late to start her afternoon clinic and it is massively stressful for her (as well as the patients no doubt).

Yesterday i was anaesthetising for a very complex case in the angiography suite. The 'operating' cardiologist was meant to be in clinic. He wasn't because the patient would have died without his specialist intervention. It is highly unlikely the patients in clinic were going to die due to having to wait an extra 60 minutes. Inconvenienced - yes. Life threatening - no.

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