"Outpatient appointment booking by phone"
About: Raigmore Hospital / Ear, Nose & Throat Raigmore Hospital Ear, Nose & Throat IV2 3UJ
Posted by Frustrated Filly (as ),
I was referred by my GP to my local ENT clinic at Raigmore Hopital in Inverness. I was told I would be sent out a letter to arrange my appointment within 12 weeks of the date on the letter from my GP confirming my referral had been sent off. This letter eventually arrived in the post breaching the 12 week guarantee time from my GP letter.
The first time I tried to phone the freephone number from home was at 17.05 where a recorded message told me I could only phone betwen 09. 00 and 17.00. These times do not provide an adequate service as not everyone can be at home to phone between these hours if you work Monday-Friday and normal daytime working hours and not all employers will allow you to make personal calls during working time.
Most office hours or GP practices are staffed between 08. 00-08.30 until 17.30-18.00 with staff having staggered hours to cover these times. I then tried to phone the following day from my mobile only to be told that I would be charged 14 pence per minute and that there was a current waiting time of 15 minutes to get through to speak to someone. This is totally unacceptable in this day and age as I do not have time to sit on hold for this length of time while I am at work.
The Outpatient Booking Service needs to be reviewed to extend their opening hours and also provide some form of answering service where patients can leave a message even if it is just to say they cannot attend an appointment at short notice!