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to think that making a hospital appointment should at least be POSSIBLE????

(22 Posts)
fryalot Tue 22-Jul-08 12:02:45

been to doc.

Doc wants to refer me to hospital. Gives me letter of referral and tells me to ring for a convenient appointment.

I get home and ring them up.

There are no appointments within eleven weeks.

They HAVE to see you within eleven weeks.

There are no appointments within eleven weeks.

So I can't make an appointment.

So, it appears that in order to keep the waiting lists down, they just don't let you on the waiting list in the first place.

Can that, in any way, be right?

RubySlippers Tue 22-Jul-08 12:04:10

i have just had this with the NHS choose and book system

i couldn't get an appt because none were available and now i am getting reminder letters to tell me to book an appt

so, i feel your aggravation

sarah293 Tue 22-Jul-08 12:06:06

Message withdrawn

fryalot Tue 22-Jul-08 12:07:37

I am actually very cross.

I wouldn't mind waiting a bit, but to be told "tough"

fryalot Tue 22-Jul-08 12:08:07

am waiting for a phone call from docs. They said that they need to take advice about what to do

deepbreath Tue 22-Jul-08 12:19:05

YANBU. Chase them up if you don't hear anything as where I live, I think they have a way of putting you to one side off the main waiting list so they appear to meet their targets for waiting times. This can go wrong.

DD was referred urgently to see an orthopaedic surgeon. Locally, they aim to see children within 6 weeks if it's urgent (nationally it's 13 weeks). There was no appointment available within that time, so they told me the same as they told you, that they'd be in touch.

When 13 weeks came and went, I rang to see what was going on. The booking centre said the surgeon had refused to see dd, and had let our GP know (they hadn't, this wasn't true and the surgeon was horrified when I told them). They had lost the referral letter and then denied all knowledge of dd ever being referred at all. I think dd was eventually seen after 6 months.

Sometimes they don't release all the appts - so if you ring back in a week you may get one. But very annoying - what did they suggest you do?

I had this happen to me so was referred to a private consultant and the NHS picked up the bill including for the op in a Bupa hospital.

NorthernLurker Tue 22-Jul-08 12:32:57

Did you ring the hospital or did you ring the Choose & book appointment line? If the latter - they should be getting in touch with the hospital and then the hospital will ring you. If it was the hospital - then they still have to see you and I can't imagine what they meant to convey. May I apologise on their behalf (I'm an NHS manager working in this area) and suggest that if your GP doesn't come across with anything that you contact PALS at your hospital and ask them to help you.

NomDePlume Tue 22-Jul-08 12:43:53

You will end up beimg referred 'traditionally' (ie the way it used to be done pre-C&B). You will go on a waiting list and will be given a cancellation slot if one comes up or you will be allocated an appointment on an 'extra' clinic (a clinic run specifically to clear breaches).

fryalot Tue 22-Jul-08 12:50:40

NL - I originally rang the number they gave me for the hospital, they told me that as I couldn't been seen within the 11 weeks, then I couldn't be seen as if they made me an appointment they would be fined (their words) they suggested I ring the choose and book number, which I did. They said that there were no other hospitals I could be seen at and suggested that I ring my docs. Am waiting for them to ring me back.

Is it right then< NL? That if you can't get an appointment within the time limit, that you just don't get one at all?

NomDePlume Tue 22-Jul-08 12:51:59

SQUONK, that is incorrect. You will get an appointment. If it is beyond the 11 week date then the NHS Trust will be fined, however you will still be on the wait list.

fryalot Tue 22-Jul-08 12:53:18

she said that she wouldn't make me an appointment. She said that if she did they would get fined, so she wouldn't.

Will let you know what the docs say

NomDePlume Tue 22-Jul-08 12:53:44

They cannot refuse to put you on their waiing list unless it is an unsuitable referral (ie you have been referred to an incorrect service, you live outside of the area or your problem cannot be treated at the hospital you have requested)

NomDePlume Tue 22-Jul-08 12:55:02

That is really shocking that they refused to put your ref on list simply because you would breach your 11wk date. They are NOT allowed to do that !

fryalot Tue 22-Jul-08 13:00:26

aaah, thank you NDP. If they don't come up with an appointment today, I shall tell them that.

Tis the right hospital, the right department, etc.

kslatts Tue 22-Jul-08 13:23:08

That's terrible, I hope you get it sorted soon.

NorthernLurker Tue 22-Jul-08 13:26:12

That is apalling! We would potentially be fined if we booked beyond 11 weeks - but that doesn't mean we can just tell patients to bog off! They should be addressing the capacity issue, they CANNOT just refuse your referral. Hope you hear something soon!

EachPeachPearMum Tue 22-Jul-08 13:26:13

We had this 3 years ago, with DH.
In order to keep the waiting lists down to 12 weeks, you waited 12-15 weeks to go on the waiting list.
I think it depends which specialism though. I recently had referral for cardiology, and appointment came through within 2 weeks, for 3 week later appointment.

mm22bys Tue 22-Jul-08 14:42:52

I got an appointment for DS2's hearing test. He already had two appointments that day so rang to change.

This was at the start of July, and they told me to ring back in August (so the appointment wouldn't have been until September or October).

I put on a big stink, asked to speak to the consultant (who originally had wanted DS2 to come back in a month or six weeks from the middle of June), left her a message.

She rang me back two days later, and had in the meantime arranged a hearing test for him....

Now we are trying to get an appointment to see a metabolic specialist, but the nurse only has one clinic-free a week, which is a Tuesday, and she is too busy today, so we have to wait till next week before DS2 is even discussed...and the two teams only meet once a month, so if they talk in the meantime...we have to wait yet another month...

Ahhhh the wonders of the NHS.

fryalot Tue 22-Jul-08 15:52:44

to be fair to the docs, they've just rang me and said that they've been trying to ring the hospital to get to the bottom of it and haven't been able to speak to anyone yet.

They seem quite horrified as well, so I don't think it's common practice, I think someone has maybe made a mistake.

But still no appointment and as of right now, no hope of actually getting one

oh well...

ThriceWoe Tue 22-Jul-08 16:21:16

Am v interested in this thread, as I had a similar nightmare experience with Choose & Book. I found a lump shock and went straight to GP. Was told it was probably nothing, but definitely needed checking out and that I would be contacted by my local hospital. Of course the eventual letter offered a 'choice' of 5 hospitals but my local one simply said 'there are no appointments available.' So did two of the alternatives. I was told by the Choose & Book helpline to ring my chosen hospital direct and ask why no appointments - I got into a scenario where I was literally shunted from one person to another through 6 phone-calls (being told off at one point for daring to ring direct) and eventually being told by a very embarrassed-sounding bloke that I had been put through to the IT dept. I'm still furious whenever I think about it

fryalot Mon 28-Jul-08 11:22:37

I finally have an appointment!!!!

4th September.

Not at my nearest hospital, but it's only about 20 miles away, so it could be worse.

Apparently, nobody at my docs has used the choose & book before so it's all new and unknown to them but they have it sorted now

grin

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