"Poor booking system"

About: Pinderfields General Hospital

Not necessarily a fault of Pinderfields hospital itself but the booking system is impersonal and uncoordinated. I needed an outpatient appt regarding my finger. Of the three referrals sent through two stated "no hands" so that gave me no option but to see one particular doctor at Pinderfields. A 10.45am outpatient appt to eventually seen at 12.50pm. Was told the doctor runnning an hour late - explanation given - booking system overloaded appts.After exam was told ineeded to see a different member of team as the doctor did not "do hands". Ultrasound appt was made which resulted in a further six week delay and they would arrange a different consultant. Ultrasound appt arrived and so did the follow up...for the same doctor again ! Called appts to sort this out and was told they could do nothing about it. I could choose to cancel the appt (black mark against me in the referral system) or I could call the doctors secretary myself to sort it out. This I did and eventually received appt for a different doctor which was luckily two days after my ultrasound. However, name on the letter bore no relation to the two doctors that I saw which adds to the confusion. To add insult to injury I needed to go to pre op but as it was 5pm they were closed. I now have to make yet another appt and another journey within 7 days to fulfill this. Why no coordination between specialty appts and follow up appts and why is it left to patient to coordinate this when they have no choice of appt times ? Told if I received the follow up appt before ultrasound appt to call and cancel and rebook the specialist appt. Again , this would show against me as a cancellation. If patients are coming on referral to see specialists why is there then such a wait for an appt such as ultra sound that the specialists have requested yet an x ray can be done on the spot.. Why no walk down facility or priority ? This double the visits and takes up both patients and specialists time - inefficient. An example of this time wasting would be when on a completely unrelated appt at Pinderfields I went for a first consult with a foot specialist and was sent down for an x ray before my appt , conveniently masking the 40 minute wait. This seemed to be quite routine as all patients went to xray. I needed ultrasound and still waiting for the appt and further consult appt.. Six more weeks or so of waiting before going back to yet another consult to then be booked for yet another appt for whatever treatment. Having more than one ongoing issue (of a similar nature) the doctors name listed on the letter is not necessarily who you see. My latest appt letter gives no clue what it is for and when calling in to check on this neither the booking system or the clinic involved were able to help determine what this lastest appt is for. Like many people I cannot take endless hours off work nor enjoy the 2 hour public transport journey each way for every appt and fell treated like a number not a person.

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Responses

Response from Pinderfields General Hospital

The arrangements for the management of outpatient appointments is currently under review. We recognise that improvements are required and apologise for the inconvenience caused.

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