"Impossible to change an appointment"

About: Charing Cross Hospital

The system for contacting Outpatient Appointments is increasingly difficult. I emailed to reschedule a full week before my appointment and the automatic reply said they'd get back to me within 48 hours, but my appointment is tomorrow and no one has contacted me. The phone system is completely overwhelmed and I cannot even get in the queue to wait to speak with a person. I assume what will happen is that it will appear that I just didn't turn up for my appointment, when I've actually been trying repeatedly to contact someone. They have a new online system for secure messages but when they email you they send a dodgy-looking attachment. I assumed it was a phishing email and deleted without opening but it turned out to be from Imperial. It's a clunky system - you have to log in etc. My email account is already be a secure way of communicating; please don't make me jump through more hoops just to make or change an appointment. I suspect the unwieldiness of the new system is at least partially responsible for the other modes of communication - phone and ordinary emails - becoming hopelessly overloaded.

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Response from Charing Cross Hospital

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust is concerned to read your comments and we sincerely apologise for the frustrating experience you have reported. The Trust has recently transfered to a new patient system and this is impacting on ability of staff to deal with the volume of calls to the booking centre. If you would like to contact our PALS service with your patient details we can ensure that your appointment is changed pals@imperial.nhs.uk Your comments with regard to the secure messaging system will be passed to our Information Governance Lead.

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