"outpatient booking & scheduing dept."

About: North Manchester General Hospital

Anything else?

This is an appalling appointment system. I wasted 4 hours today trying to change an appointment and acheived nothing. I have been held in a queue several times this afternoon. The first few times I called, I got the message “we are experiencing very high call volumes, please call back" before being disconnected. Then I was in a queue, position 8. After 30 minutes I suddenly got the 'high call volumes' message, and was disconnected. This happened again after 20 minutes at ‘position 8’ in the queue. Then again! Suspiciously always at position 8. If you are really in a queue, your position progressively gets closer - position 5, 4, 3, 2, etc. You do not remain at position 8 then cut cut off because of high volumes. Either the system is completely broken, or it is fraudulently telling patients they are in a queue when they are not Also, having a message saying “feel free to call back in our quieter period in the afternoon” is really irritating when you are calling in the afternoon. All the calls I made were in the afternoon! I suspect this is just a period of testing before this system changes to a money-making 0844 number. Appalling! Even worse, when I finally did get through, there was no acknowledgment that the system was poor. I was told for ‘data protection’, the patient (my husband) had to speak to them to confirm. They refused to let me change the appointment time. My husband is not in an office job, and cannot spend 4 hours on the phone, which is why I was calling for him. This is not about personal information being disclosed to a third party, it is about relatives changing an appointment time. People will not spend hours on the phone, they will just not turn up for appoitnments. If we had not turned up for the appointment, no doubt we would get a nasty letter. Suggestions 1. Stop conning your patients about being in a queue when they are not 2. Get a better message system that can recognise when it is the afternoon 3. Do not make excuses about inflexible ‘data protection’ policy when people just want to change an appointment time. Use some common sense and let family members do this

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Responses

Response from North Manchester General Hospital

We are sorry to read your comments regarding phone calls to change your husband’s appointment at North Manchester General Hospital. If you wish to have your concerns investigated, please contact the Patients Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 0161 604 5897.,

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