"Cannot get through to appointments staff"

About: Queen Charlotte's Hospital

I tried to call a number of times to try to make an appointment and waited 20 mins each time before giving up. Finally I waited as long as it would take and spent an hour on the phone in a queue. Finally someone answered at 5.30pm and told me I would have to call the next day as staff have gone home. Why don't they switch off their phones at 5pm then?!?! I had to go into the hospital to make an appointment in person. It hardly gives you confidence about the level of care when you are about to give birth. I'm actually really scared because of a difficult first birth over a year ago. This makes things ten times worse. Midwives have been really nice when I have seen them but the place seems to be in shambles and a wait of over an hour past your appointment time is standard.

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Response from Queen Charlotte's Hospital

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust is concerned to read of your experience of antenatal services at QCCH. We apologise for the poor service you have reported. In November we began realigning our antenatal services. This was as a result of feedback from women regarding their dissatisfaction with seeing different midwives during their antenatal care, not getting to know and trust one midwife, and not having a named midwife to refer to if they have any concerns or queries. Our new services comprise of community based services in children’s centres for women who live in our catchment area, and hospital based midwifery antenatal clinics for women outside of our community catchment area. Doctors clinics are all held in the hospital. Since November we have had a steady roll out of these services, the final phase being the closure of a satellite hospital based clinic in Woodfield road, and the final launch of a Midwifery Group Practice at the end of March. This has meant that some of our clinics and appointments have been disorganised due to needing to change the location of so many appointments in a relatively short space of time, putting strain on our administration systems. Updated information has now been put on the Trust website and again we apologise for the poor service you have reported. It imporatnt that you have confidence in our service and if you experience further problems we hope you will contact our PALS service pals@imperial.nhs.uk

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