"Rheumatology outpatient waiting times"

About: Watford General Hospital / Rheumatology

(as the patient),

There are always very long waits to be seen and also appointments are not booked as you leave - you have to wait to be sent your next appointment. Mine is already a month over due and still no sign of an appointment. To be honest I don't mind, I just think it would be polite to send a letter to patients, that explains that rheumatology is very busy at the moment and subsequent out patient appointment dates will be delayed as a result. It's not the fact the appointment is late that bothers me - I have no urgent need to be seen at all, it's the lack of communication that I find difficult.

I guessed the reason as to why I haven't received an appointment. I have no idea why I haven't received an appointment, but presume this to be the most likely case in an over stretched department.

Ps this is most definitely not the first time I have had the same issue, it's been going on for years.

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Response from Antony Tiernan, Director of Corporate Affairs and Communications, Communications and corporate affairs, West Herfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust

picture of Antony Tiernan

Thank you for taking the time to let us have feedback and I apologise for the delay in replying.

May I start by apologising for the problems you have faced. It is clearly not the level of service we would want to provide and we obviously need to make improvements.

I have passed your comments on to our outpatient management team and have asked them to let me have feedback about what we can do to address this matter.

I hope you have now received your appointment. If not, I'd ask you to please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) who will be able to look into it for you. Their email is pals@whht.nhs.uk or you can call 01923 217 198.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need to. My email is antony.tiernan@whht.nhs.uk or you can call 01923 436 229. Alternatively, you can tweet me: @AntonyTiernan.

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