"Delays getting an ENT appointment at William Harvey Hospital"

About: William Harvey Hospital / Ear, Nose and Throat

(as the patient),

I realise that the Hospital and the Trust is going through a vast amount of change due to its recent inspections. However, whilst your previous reviews are a mixed bag of satisfaction, I am afraid that my confidence in my local trust is at an all time low, due to various incidents that have occurred with family and friends. This time, I am commenting about myself.

I was given an outpatient appointment by a Consultant who asked for it to be within six to eight weeks in follow up. However, as we all know (or we should) sometimes appointments need to be rearranged. Considering I have ongoing problems, it seems ludicrous then that my appointment has been postponed for six months, rearranged for a more reasonable time scale, and cancelled again.

As the trust has been deemed "inadequate" for the foreseeable future, surely this is something that needs to be addressed? Outpatients is often the first port of call for someone experiencing a medical/surgical problem, perhaps with a view to admission. If your Outpatient Appointments can't be sorted out properly, the faith of your catchment area will not be restored.

Please review your modus operandi as soon as possible. In spite of contact with patient experience (PALS), who tried their best, no reasonable outcome has been made. Apart from them telling me that the specialist I am assigned to is the only one available who can deal with my diagnosis. This is not so, and has been treated by other doctors in the hospital.

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Response from Julie Pearce, Chief Nurse + Director of Quality + Operations, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for your feedback and I am sorry to hear about your delay. We are indeed trying hard to improve our outpatient booking service. Unfortunately we are seeing a very high rise in GP referrals to our services which means that we have to focus on the first appointments for patients and this means that it delays the frequency by which we can provide follow up services. We are trying ways in which to address the challenge.

Please do email me with your details and I will see if I am able to find out about the delay. My email address is Julie.pearce1@nhs.net

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