"I've received some excellent ..."

About: Royal Blackburn Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

I've received some excellent care in the past, BUT I have to point out how incredibly frustrating it is not to be able to contact the ward or dept you're due to attend. ue to pathetic public transport I would have been 1 hour late for my appointment on Thursday, but on the appointment letter was NO dept phone number. I had to go home to look up the main switchboard number online. I asked for the dept number and my request was ignored and I was put straight through, yet nobody answered the phone and it cut off. Again, I had to ring the switchboard and was told they'd never heard of the dept (upper limb service) and didn't know the extension number. Repeat the process for the next three hours and I was able to rearrange my appointment for January 2009 - yet another 2 months wait when I'm already in excruciating pain on a daily basis. I didn't 'not attend' - I was already on the second of three buses there when I realised how late I was going to be and turned back before I wasted more time trying to get there when I knew I wouldn't be seen due to (what would have been) my very late arrival.

What could be improved

1. Having an exact dept number on appointment letters

2. Having staff who do give callers the number rather than just 'putting you through'

3. Staff who do answer the phone when you DO get the right department/ward (within a three hour period preferably - I don't know of anybody who has this long for a lunch break!)

Story from NHS Choices

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