"Impossible to get an appointment from rude staff at Eastman Dental Hospital, London"

About: The Eastman Dental Hospital / Dental medicine specialities University College Hospital

(as a relative),

My father was referred to the Eastman Dental Hospital for dental treatment for a cracked molar tooth on medical grounds, as he had adverse reaction to anaesthetics during the course of recent heart surgery operations.

We wasted some two months in attempting to obtain a first appointment at Eastman. When we complained about the prolonged delay, we found the person we spoke to was arrogant and unhelpful.

Staff failed to return telephone messages and emails requesting an update on my father's admission, and then casually went off on annual leave. We were constantly told that key supervisory staff were at "meetings" and any time we tried to get through to these key individuals, we got their answering machine.

My father was subsequently refused dental treatment on irrational grounds and it seems that he was victimised by the hospital for making a complaint.

When we complained to the University College London Complaints Department, an even ruder person told us that he was "too busy" to discuss our complaint.

We never met the dental consultants themselves at Eastman so cannot comment upon this, however, our disturbing experiences at the early stages was enough to get us to look elsewhere for dental treatment for a vulnerable pensioner.

A big thumbs down from our family and certainly not a "world class" hospital in any sense of the word when it comes to staff attitudes towards patients.

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Response from University College Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to feed back to us. We are very sorry to hear about your father's recent experience of referral processes at the Eastman Dental Hospital. The complaints manager apologises but unfortunately the complaints team have not had sufficient resources to give enough time to patients or relatives to make a verbal complaint. You should have been directed to the NHS Complaints Advocacy Service if you needed assistance to write up your complaint. If you would like to write or email to complaints.officer@uclh.nhs.uk the complaints manager would be very happy to investigate all of your concerns.

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