"Seemingly obvious failures in administration"

About: Heartlands Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as the patient),

I was recently somewhat disappointed to be discharged for non attendance of a clinic when I had never actually received a letter asking me to attend.

I have not received a letter for any appointments since my attendance at Heartlands in late August 2013 when I was promised a further consultancy in around 2 months at Solihull.

If indeed I had received a letter, I would have attended as indeed I have in the 17 previous appointments with various consultants at Heartlands, Solihull, City and Good Hope, over the past 15 months since my discharge from Heartlands in June 2012.

There are still problems with my clawing in my left hand and increased sensory deficit around the 5th digit. This has led to other problems affecting my overall health and I am anxious to find a solution before my health deteriorates further.

I would like to point out that since my original discharge from Heartlands in June 2012 where my problems first manifested themselves, I had seen five different consultants before being referred to my current consultant and we appear not to be any further forward.

During that time I have received the following:

1. 3 letters confirming the same appointment

2. a telephone call to check that I would be attending an appointment for which apparently no-one had told the secretaries to send a letter

3. a phone call changing an appointment because the consultant went on holiday so all clinics cancelled

4. letter re-arranging an appointment dated a week before the appointment was due

5. an appointment that when I arrived after the hour long drive to Heartlands the consultant wondered why I had been sent an appointment

6. a letter dated the 3rd of a month, posted on the 6th of the month for an appointment on the 3rd of that month

I have not listed the countless hours spent on the telephone to various consultant secretaries, messages left on voice mails which are never acknowledged or replied to and wasted time ringing during the hours shown on correspondence only to be connected to a voice mail message to say that the office was closed and giving the opening hours.

To me, these seem quite obvious failures in administration. I would however ask that urgent attention is now applied to my continuing problem and I seek help and support with this.

These issues in no way reflect on the treatment I have received or the consultants and nursing staff I have met.

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Response from Iona Belgrove, Patient Services Manager, Heart Of England NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Jeff101

I am so sorry you had that experience and have passed your feedback onto our General Manager for Appointments to check how this happened and, more importantly, ensure it doesn't happen again. Please be assured this is not the normal standard of services and appropriate steps will be taken.

Could I please ask that you email me at iona.belgrove@heartofengland.nhs.uk with you hospital number, so that we can look into your case.

Best wishes

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