To refuse to move my hospital appointment?(30 Posts)
Had surgery on my arm and wrist 13 days ago (private hospital through healthcare provided by work) I've been signed off work and driving until I see my surgeon tomorrow to remove dressings and hopefully be given the ok to return. I booked my follow up appointment for 6.20pm, so that DH could take me as I'm still not allowed to drive, and it would be difficult to do so anyway with my bandages.
Wednesdays are busy for my DH so not ideal, but that's the only day this surgeon works (assume he does NHS/other hospitals on other days, but not sure exactly) so arranged for DH to work through his lunch so he could leave early to get me to my appointment on time (about 30-40 minute drive as we're very rural)
Receptionist just called and asked if they could move my appointment 2 hours earlier as there was a big gap and his schedule and 'she knew he wouldn't like that'. I explained that as I was signed off driving I had to wait for husband to get home to take me and that there was no way I could get there 2 hours early.
The receptionist got very snotty with me and said that he wouldn't want to wait for me and so I'd have to come early or wait until the following week and see him then. I pointed out that it was a post op check up he told me to book for 14 days, and that I didn't think dressings could wait another week to be changed/checked and that it would mean him having to sign me off for another week when medically I'm probably fit to return.
I asked If the consultant had actually said he wouldn't wait and she admitted that she hadn't asked him and was just trying to tidy up his diary, and is going to contact him to ask what he wants to do and call me back.
I was very polite and apologetic that I couldn't accommodate Her request, even though this is my 3rd appointment with him and both of the other 2 they asked to move and I agreed, (despite them moving the 1st an hour early, and then telling me when I arrived he was running 45 minutes late so I had to wait until just before my original appointment time anyway, and the other id booked for my lunch break only for them to move it to the middle of the afternoon ) but she made me feel really guilty.
Should I have agreed to let her move it earlier? The only way I could have got there would have been taxi, which would be in the region of £50-60 for a return journey.
I don't think YABU. And I'd be tempted to innocently ask doctor when there whether there was an issue with your appointment time.
No part of the point of paying for private is to fit in with your life
You may be sitting there on your own Dr doesn't need you sure there will be an emergency somewhere Dr has to attend. Little room to manoeuvre
No, I don't think you should have to move it. You have good reasons why you can't come earlier, and it's one of the issues with a professional job that sometimes you have to stay late at your own inconvenience to get things done. Consultants aren't exempt from that. You may get the 'it's free (at point of use) so you aren't allowed any expectations or preferences EVER' crowd telling you otherwise but I don't think you are unreasonable.
Ah, have just seen it's private healthcare. In that case definitely not unreasonable. You (or your work) are paying to have the greater flexibility for you, the patient, that the NHS finds it much harder to provide. What's the point if they keep messing you about?
I work for the NHS and sometimes there are gaps in my appointment schedule (I have hour slots on some days and if someone cancels, obviously that could mean hanging around for an hour just to see the last person of the day). I will always call to ask if people would mind swapping to an earlier time but ultimately if i’ve Offered an appointment at a certain time, I have to honour that. Same goes for this Dr, especially as you’re paying for the privelige!
Having worked in the private sector you might find your appointment simply cancelled or the doctor unavailable so you just see a nurse. That or the doctor will go to see to something else in between his previous appointment and yours and then keep you waiting as he is delayed.
It's not necessarily right but I've seen it happen.
Also, not your problem but the person who booked the clinic with a 2 hour gap is likely to get it in the neck! I've never worked for a consultant who would have been happy about that, most clinics have notes to say 'must be booked consecutively'.
Hmm, wonder if she is trying to cover up her mistake?
I would follow up with an email.
An alternative would be to see a different consultant - not ideal, but if it's a post op check it may be less critical to see the same person. I sympathise though as I have been asked to adjust appointments at the private hospital in the past too in order to fit in with the consulant's schedule.
You have an appointment, it's not your fault there's a two hour gap. I reckon she was hoping you'd go in earlier and she could go home after!
They sound disorganised and annoying. If she insists, tell her you will if they pay the taxi journey. That will hopefully shut her up.
You could have been busy and unable to answer your phone, in which case they wouldn't have been able to ask you.
We also live a considerable distance from our local (NHS) hospitals and the logistics of son's various routine outpatient appts are already a pain in the neck... it's only going to be worse when he has to miss school for them...
They shouldn't have offered the time slot if it wasn't convenient for them. You have paid privately and as the consultant's time is not more valuable than yours/your DH's why should you be inconvenienced because of their mistake? I think the secretary has cocked up and is worried that the consultant will be annoyed with her.
One of the benefits of going private is that you have some control over appointment times.
Can you find the consultants email online? I'd email him directly and complain about his secretary being rude.
And I agree that if there is any issue re that appointment (like the appointment is moved to the do,owing week or you only see the nurse), then I would email the consultant directly.
That’s the whole point of gong private. The consultant himself will be responsible for his appointment and ensuring you are seen as when it is necessary but also working for you.
You have clear reasons why you cannot move your appointment time. It is all set up now with not just you, but your DH and the team at his place of work. Changing it at the eleventh hour would inconvenience a lot of people unnecessarily.
You are not being unreasonable. Stick to your guns. When she calls back say that you will be arriving in time for the original appointment and you trust that, as a paying private patient, it will be your consultant you will see.
Mummy's suggestion of only agreeing to change if they will pay your taxi fare is something to have in reserve too. Remember to tell her that this will include the fare to get to the hospital, while the taxi waits during your consultation, and the fare to take you home again once finished.
I work for the NHS and occasionally this happens too- my appointments are 30 or 60 minutes and so sometimes if I get a couple of cancellations there will be a big gap. My secretary will ring people to see if they can move up, as that gives me a chance to e.g. pop into the ward to see how my inpatients are doing, but I'd never be annoyed at someone not being able to switch. I'm paid to be there after all and I'd be pretty annoyed if I found out someone had been rude to my patient just because the patient needed to keep their original appointment time.
The only thing you were being u reasonable about was being so polite. She probably just wanted to leave work early and tried to bully you into accommodating her plans. You should make a formal complaint.
Considering that your work pay for the private insurance, no doubt they will be very unimpressed if he changes your appointment so that you have to go back to work later. One of the reasons companies pay for private healthcare is to limit the amount of time employees take off work.
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