"Appointments made then cancelled."

About: Tameside General Hospital

I had a referral by my GP to the Ear, Nose and Throat. On the online self booking I chose Tameside as it was offering an appointment within the month. I duly booked the appointment online and received written confirmation. However this appointment was then cancelled, 'due to unforeseen circumstances'. I waited another two weeks then rang the booking office to be informed I should now receive an appointment within 13 weeks! This would mean a total wait of around four months for initial consultation not the month i expected. I ask are appointments made so the hospital appears to be operating as it should within government guidelines and then cancelling them because the appointments do not actually exist? The lady on the end of the phone just mmmmm'ed and said they were hoping to put more clinics on soon! I think this tells me I was perhaps right in my assumptions. In some fields it is known as cooking the books! Has anyone else experienced the same? With all the bad publicity this hospital has had you would think they would get something as simple as an appointment right. If you don't have any appointments don't offer them. I could have gone to another hospital. Angry!

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Responses

Response from Lindsay Stewart, Deputy Director of Nursing, Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for your comments regarding your referral to ENT. It appears that you used Choose and Book system for your initial appointment, which worked well.

I am sorry that when you contacted the booking office yourself that the response you received was a 13 week wait for your appointment.

Without having more detail on dates etc it is difficult to respond to all aspect of your review. It is our usual practice to book to available slots and only cancel if absolutely necessary – usually this is for sickness or if the slot was needed for an urgent suspected cancer patient. I am sorry that you were given an explanation of the cancellation labeled ‘Unforeseen circumstances’ you should have been given more specific information. The information relating to the ENT department planning to have extra clinics in the near future to assist with the backlog is correct. If you would like to contact Kim Young Business Development manager for ENT on 0161 922 6384 Kim will be able to look into your specific issues further

Kind regards

John Goodenough

Director of Nursing

’Would you like to help the hospital to improve its services further? We are currently looking for patients and carers to become involved in a development called “Patient Stories”. We want to know more about our services from the point of view of those who received them – what was good, bad, what could be improved, what should be changed. Want to know more about what’s involved? Please contact John Goodenough, Director of Nursing at

john.goodenough@tgh.nhs.uk

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