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To not want to disclose a further reason

(119 Posts)
SquarePegRoundHole Mon 27-Feb-17 09:54:19

.... for requesting change of day of hospital appointment.

Consultant referred me to another department for tests. Received an automated phone call asking if I could attend on a particular day. Press 1 for yes, press 2 for no. I pressed 2. The automated service then said it wasn't actually cancelled and I would need to ring the number on my letter.

The said letter arrived 2 days later detailing the appointment which I had already said I could not attend. I rang the number on the letter and I spoke to a real person.

I said I was unable to attend that day and could I please have another appointment. I was asked what the reason was I could not attend. I said I was unable to get there that day. This led to being asked a further 2 times.

The operative then stated I will cancel it but I can't make you another one as the person whose job that it is isn't here. He sounded stroppy. I let it go, said ok and bye etc.

9:00 am this morning same person telephoned me and reiterated that I had cancelled an appointment and was I sure that I could not make it. Yes I said I was sure. He said there wasn't any other appointments available for the foreseeable further so was I SURE I could not attend. WTAF.

I remained calm and unruffled and said I was a 'fellow professional' and be assured if I could attend on said day I would but I couldn't. They then offered me 1 of 3 other appointment times/days.

I'm perturbed on several levels. Their continual need to keep asking why I was unable attend, asking me on two separate occasions several times 'if I was sure I was unable to attend', them with holding appointments and brow beating me to attend etc.

AIBU or where they?

SquarePegRoundHole Mon 27-Feb-17 09:55:50

* Title should read 'To not want to disclose Another reason'.

LevantineHummus Mon 27-Feb-17 09:57:23

You weren't.

They would be under normal circumstances. But I'm not sure hospital appointment booking is "normal circumstances" because I'm sure some people try to reschedule because they've got essential appointments like a haircut booked etc.

LevantineHummus Mon 27-Feb-17 09:58:20

sorry pressed send too soon - meaning that the whole booking system becomes a nightmare with people trying to rearrange, so they try to stop people doing it.

Sirzy Mon 27-Feb-17 09:59:26

I can understand them asking. Assuming it's NHS you can't really pick and choose so they won't want people turning down appointments unless they really have to.

MatildaTheCat Mon 27-Feb-17 10:00:05

Maybe neither. There is so much pressure on appointments that they don't want empty slots going to waste. Some appointments for tests are quite lengthy so very precious and they may be instructed to try to ensure the patient really cannot come before changing it.

When I worked in the NHS we often had women changing scans and booking appointments, both of which were under huge pressure for reasons such as, ' it's a bit early' ( in office hours) or 'my toddler always naps at that time'.

You have your appointment in an overstretched service so be thankful. If they were actually rude that's a bit different.

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Mon 27-Feb-17 10:00:10

I don't think either were being particularly unreasonable tbh!

NHS appointments aren't easy to come by and they have thousands to sort out so they're looking at the bigger picture, whereas you can only see it at the individual, personal level.

I guess hair appointment is a stupid reason to change a hospital appointment, out of the country on business isn't and probably helps them decide how urgent you think it is.

wettunwindee Mon 27-Feb-17 10:03:23

You sound difficult.

Any reason would be confidential. They are the NHS and want to be efficient in their procedures, not try to fit everyone in around their schedules.

Did you expect preferential treatment being a "fellow professional"?

SquarePegRoundHole Mon 27-Feb-17 10:08:09

Thank you for the responses. I have many, many appointments due to a serious condition. It is very rare for me to request a change of appointment. Other departments have a system where they send a letter first and invite you to telephone to make an appointment.

In this instance I physically can't get there due to lack of transport. DH on nights, taxis too expensive as hospital in another city and no public transport from where I live.

I have never cancelled for a hair appointment, sleeping children, inconvenient time etc. Usually request change is due to clashing appointments.

I remember the last time I requested a change they just said ok and rearranged.

SquarePegRoundHole Mon 27-Feb-17 10:10:54

Well wettunwindee , no I didn't. I said what I said to reiterate that what I was saying was genuine and for them to be assured I wasn't being an arse.

I was not being difficult either. I know how to speak to people. I remained calm throughout. No deep sighs etc. Unlike the person on the other end of the phone.

IamFriedSpam Mon 27-Feb-17 10:11:20

Sounds like you have a genuine reason for not being able to attend but I do know lots of people feel they should be able to pick and choose their appointment times for their own convenience (e.g. don't want to waste a days holiday, they can get a lift one day and they don't want to take a bus and train etc., they have a birthday party to go to, etc.) For that reason I can see why they have to discourage people from rearranging.

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Mon 27-Feb-17 10:15:45

Introducing yourself as a "fellow professional" will have done you no favours I imagine.

You have requested an NHS appointment (via referral presumably) and have been offered one. It is reasonable enough for them to want to know why you cannot attend. Any reason you give will be absolutely confidential in any case.

Depending on how much notice you have given, they may not be able to refill that appointment. This obviously has an effect on both their waiting list and the waiting times for other patients.

Also, consider the fact that many departments now have targets to meet. e.g. all patients must be seen within X amount of weeks from referral. By postponing your appointment, you can be contributing to them missing their targets. Obviously you are perfectly entitled to change your appointment and I'm not in any way suggesting that people should be going out of their way to keep whichever NHS Manager (or government department) responsible for setting these targets happy. But when the staff are going to be quizzed on why they have failed to meet them, it is reasonable for them to ask you for a reason too.

sallysparrow157 Mon 27-Feb-17 10:17:59

I had a hospital appointment recently, I was unable to accept the initial appt date so requested another - the consultant asked me why so he could document in my clinic letter that I had requested the date change not them - this is because they have targets to have everyone seen within x days/weeks of referral - if they miss the target because the date offered was inconvenient to you they won't get penalised for it

RedHelenB Mon 27-Feb-17 10:18:23

Maybe they could have helped organise transport if that was the reason so I think they were right to ask why you couldnt attend.

sallysparrow157 Mon 27-Feb-17 10:18:50

Mine was occupational health though - same may not apply to normal hospital appointments...

Mountainsofmothermadness Mon 27-Feb-17 10:22:37

UWNBU and I foo foo confidentiality in hospitals. I have sat in plenty of waiting rooms/beds whilst confidential information is spoken aloud for all to hear - when the patient is no where near.

diddl Mon 27-Feb-17 10:22:50

If it was that you couldn't physically get there I can't imagine why you wouldn't just say tbh.

My dad has transport.

WorraLiberty Mon 27-Feb-17 10:23:16

I said what I said to reiterate that what I was saying was genuine and for them to be assured I wasn't being an arse.

Huh? How does stating you're a 'fellow professional' assure them you're genuine and not an arse? confused

Anyway I think YABU. They were clearly just reiterating that due to cancellation, you'll have to wait a very long time so you might want to reconsider.

Foureyesarebetterthantwo Mon 27-Feb-17 10:23:20

I have noticed that you get asked lately if you want to change or cancel an appointment. The idea of flexible 'choose and book' and schemes like this was to have appointments with the relevant people that the patients could actually attend (e.g. when you can get childcare). Now this seems to be seen as very annoying and we are back to the old system of 'come now, it will be late, but you can't change it under any circumstances'. I guess there's a balance to be struck between being flexible and people changing things just for the sake of it.

SquarePegRoundHole Mon 27-Feb-17 10:26:39

Santa I didn't say I was a fellow professional to curry favour, it was to reiterate that I was being sincere about not been able to get there on that day. Nonetheless, saying it did open the appointment book and I was offered 3, where before he said there wasn't any. This is wrong on many levels! I telephoned them immediately on receiving my appointment letter, so wasn't left until last minute. I had said right at the beginning that I wasn't able to attend due to not being able to get there. They did not accept that. They asked many times if I was sure and what was the reason! Also on the first day I cancelled the fellow cancelled it but stated he was unable to make another one as the 'person who does that job isn't here'. For the same man to ring this morning. That is manipulative and unethical.

SapphireStrange Mon 27-Feb-17 10:27:07

You sound difficult.

No she doesn't. The staff repeatedly asking if she was sure she couldn't attend hmm, speaking stroppily, huffing and sighing, were the ones being difficult.


stopfuckingshoutingatme Mon 27-Feb-17 10:27:55

why are you so special OP? I know that people are desperate to get their NHS apt, like actually desperate, read other threads

so for whatever reasons, you are making more work for an already overburdened system

Sirzy Mon 27-Feb-17 10:28:26

Different clinics are more able to offer flexibility than others though. Ds has to see the main consultant for one of his appointments - rather than the registrars that a lot will see - that means we get no flexibility in when we see him, when he is free we go.

Appointments for certain tests generally have less flexibility too I have found as it depends on having the staff and technology in the right place at the right time - often making sure they are done early enough to get results/samples to the right places etc.

WorraLiberty Mon 27-Feb-17 10:30:40

I didn't say I was a fellow professional to curry favour, it was to reiterate that I was being sincere about not been able to get there on that day.

And if you worked in a supermarket, what then? confused

Would that mean you're more likely to lie about not being able to get there?

I'm not being difficult btw, I'm genuinely confused.

SquarePegRoundHole Mon 27-Feb-17 10:30:47

Worrel because I adhere to my professional code of values and ethics! I am not a flaky person who manipulates the system to suit them selves. I consider myself to be trustworthy and honest. He was speaking to me as if I was a numpty and did not know my own mind ... just how many times did he need to ask 'are you sure'!

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