"Why is my husband now back on the waiting list?"

About: Crosshouse Hospital / General Surgery

(as a relative),

My husband requires maxillofacial surgery and received an appointment letter in mid October. The surgery was due to take place in late November. The appointment letter stipulates that you need to notify the hospital within 7 days if you are unable to attend. At first I thought he could attend and then I realised we were going to be on holiday on the operation date. So 12 days after the letter arrived, I phoned the hospital and explained the situation. They thanked me for letting them know and promised a revised appointment would come through the post.

We had been waiting some time without hearing anything so I phoned the hospital today to check what was happening. I was worried the appointment may have been lost in the post over Christmas.

I was shocked and very unhappy to be told that even though I had given a month's advanced notice, my husband was marked as a non-attendance for his late November appointment. As a result, he's now back on a 12 week waiting list.

I work for the NHS myself and so I understand how many problems missed appointments cause. However I gave good notice and was thanked for letting them know. I found the whole situation baffling and incredibly frustrating.

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Responses

Response from Kate MacDonald, Business Coordinator & Office Manager (interim), Nurse Directorate, NHS Ayrshire and Arran, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

picture of Kate MacDonald

Dear Sabka322

Thank you for making contact with us through Patient Opinion. I appreciate your frustration under the circumstances, having followed the guidance given to you and then finding out that your husband is back on the waiting list for his maxillofacial surgery.

I would like to assist you further in seeking a deeper understanding of the situation you are faced with. At the moment you remain anonymous to us, and so I am unable to look at your husbands background. If you would like to discuss this further with me, please contact me by email at kate.macdonald@aapct.scot.nhs.uk or on 01292 513607.

In the meantime, I am going to send your posting to the Health Care Manager who covers this area, to seek further clarity. I will post as soon as I hear back from them.

Thank you again for getting in touch.

Kind regards

Kate

Kate Macdonald

Patient Opinion Coordinator

NHS Ayrshire and Arran

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Response from Kate MacDonald, Business Coordinator & Office Manager (interim), Nurse Directorate, NHS Ayrshire and Arran, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

picture of Kate MacDonald

Dear Sabka322

Apologies for the delay in providing an update on my last posting.

I forwarded your posting to our Referrel Management Service Manager, but as you are still anonymous to us, the Manager's response is a generic one, please note this as you read it below:

"Without any patient detail I am unable to provide a specific response, however, the principle remains the same for all outpatient appointments. NHSScotland Waiting Time guidance requires Health Boards to make two ‘reasonable offers’ of appointments to patients. A reasonable offer is deemed to be one where the patient receives a minimum of 7 days notice of the appointment. If the patient refuses the offer within 7 days then this is classed as refusal of the first reasonable offer, and a subsequent offer is made. If the patient does not make contact within 7 days, this is classed as ‘Implied Acceptance’ and a subsequent offer is not required. Declining the offer after the 7 day period has passed resets the patient’s waiting time clock to zero and a further wait of up to 12 weeks can be anticipated from the date of the phone call cancelling the appointment.

I’m afraid I can’t comment on the lady’s claim that her husband was marked as a ‘non-attender’ in November as I don’t have the patient’s details to investigate."

Sabka322, if you would like to contact me with your details, I would be happy to pass these onto our Manager. My email address is kate.macdonald@aapct.scot.nhs.uk or you can call me on 01292 513607.

Thank you

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