"Problems with appointments"

About: Sunderland Royal Hospital / General medicine

(as the patient),

I had an appointment recently with the Consultant Physiotherapist (who has since retired), no problem there all was great; she told me NOT to attend the Knee Clinic sessions at the Aquatic Centre until I had seen her again as my Knee wasn't/isn't settling and I may be doing more harm than good, again no problems. She told me to go to reception (appointment request in hand) to book an appointment, this I did........

Lady at desk said...''I am busy at the moment, leave the request there and we will mail your appointment to you''....I said no problem, but I cannot attend an appointment between certain dates in August inclusive.....and I left.

1st Problem: - A couple of days later, I receive an appointment for a date I couldn't attend. I rang and informed them of their mistake. I was told as she was retiring I would have to wait until someone else was rota'd in to take over existing patients, not too much of an issue as long as it wasn't too long as my knee is still giving me pain and is not improving as it should be.

2nd Problem: - I gave it a few days after my holiday (given that it was 2 weeks + since I had spoke to anyone) and rang again....this is when I am starting to get really riled. ''I am sorry, because you 'missed' your appointment you have to go to the bottom of the queue and wait again''. ''mmm'' I said, '' So I get persecuted because of an Administrative Error at your end? '' and as if reading of Auto Queue ''I am sorry, because you 'missed' your appointment you have to go to the bottom of the queue and wait again''

3rd Problem: - Today, I receive a letter from the Physiotherapy Department asking me to contact them urgently to find out why I haven't been attending the Knee Clinic sessions at the Aquatic Centre..so I rang and informed them of the situation ''Oh, OK Mr ........ we don't get given that sort of information! ''

Now forgive me if I am wrong, an email costs nothing whereas a letter costs money...so why wouldn't you inform another department in the same institution (or even write it on the patient records) to save the cost of sending a letter out when there is absolutely no requirement at all? Just saying!

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Response from Andrea Hetherington, Deputy Head of Corporate Affairs, City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust

We are sorry to hear that you you have experienced problems with appointments for your physiotherapy. We would like to pick this up for you and will liaise with the Physiotherapy Appointments Team on your behalf as we can appreciate how frustrated you must be. Could you please contact the Patient Advice & Liaison Team who will be made aware of your issues. They can be contacted either by email (pals@chs.northy.nhs.uk) or telephone (freephone 0800 587 6513).

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Update posted by Nutty Nolan (the patient)


Thanks for the reply, however, just to make one thing clear (granted, I didn't first time round), I wasn't on a Physiotherapy appointment the first time round.

I was meant to be seeing the actual Consultant who did my knee Operation back in November 2013, however ended up seeing the Consultant Physiotherapist (probably planned that way, but I was unaware of the change prior to) at that appointment, who told me to not to attend my current on going Physio sessions at the Knee Clinic.