"I was refered to SRH as an urgent ..."

About: Sunderland Royal Hospital

(as the patient),

Anything else?

I was refered to SRH as an urgent referal under the choose and book system. I need to see an endocrinologist. Trying to book an appointment is impossible as i've been told for over a week now 'no appointments available' no one can give me any idea when an appointment might become available. I will now have to go back to my GP and ask for a referal to a hospital with available appointments, wasting time i don't have.Is this how they brag they see all new referals within 18 weeks....because only some of them are actually given appointments ?

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Response from Sunderland Royal Hospital

We am sorry to hear of your problems in relation to Choose & Book. These problems do occur from time to time, with the main problem one of capacity, particularly in specialist areas such as Endocrinology. All of our available appointments are 'published' on the Choose and Book system for a number of weeks ahead (usually about 6 weeks ahead, but it depends on the specialty), however at times these appointments are quickly filled by patients, leaving no appointments available on the system. Wherever possible we try to pre-empt this, by putting additional clinics onto the system in order to match demand, however this is particularly difficult in areas where there may be only one or two consultants available.

As you will appreciate demand for services are not the same each week, with some of the smaller volume specialties displaying significant variation in the number of patients being referred week-on-week. We try to be as flexible as possible in order to increase our capacity when demand increases, however we are not always able to do this as quick as we would wish. In these circumstances patients can use the telephone appointments line where we can arrange an appointment for them.

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