"Appointment letter arrived late"

About: Royal Hospital for Sick Children (Yorkhill) / General medicine Western Infirmary/Gartnavel General / General Medicine

(as a parent/guardian),

It's very rare that I have anything negative to say about the nhs. Despite its flaws, it is a fantastic service and I am well aware of how essential it is to a great number of people. If te NHS didn't exist, I would be pretty certain my son wouldn't have had his operation in December 2014.

His experience in Yorkhill, Glasgow, was fantastic. It is afterwards that problems began.

We were told to expect an appointment at the Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, six weeks after his operation to remove a dermoid cyst from his left orbital socket. When this letter did not arrive after the allotted time, I contacted the secretary of the doctor who's name was on the letter which gave us the date of the operation. We were subsequently told that as he did not perform the operation himself, but a letter would be sent out. This did not happen, and I contacted his secretary again and explained the situation again. She found an appointment time at Gartnavel Hosptial, Glasgow for mid February, and that a letter would be sent off with further details.

This letter also did not arrive, and I was forced to contact his secretary again as all I knew of my sons appointment was the hospital and what time I was to be there. Thankfully she was most helpful every time I spoke to her.

The appointment letter arrived late February, almost a full two weeks after the appointment. On the envelope, someone had taken it upon themselves to write first class instead if stamping it. I can only be thankful that I was persistent in getting the details, else someone else would have received their appointment two weeks late, which is unfair to both the patient, as it could have been for something much more serious, or the NHS who it would cost money for someone to miss an appointment they had no idea of.

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Response from Lorna Gray, Patient Experience, Public Involvement Project Manager, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Dear Scotskid,

Thank you for taking the time to let me know about the problems you have had with the communication around your son's appointment at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

In your comments you have completely pinpointed the issues which are caused by delayed or missing appointment letters. I completely understand the frustration that this causes, and as you have pointed out this affects both the patients and the service.

I will send your comments to our Medical Records Department for information. They may want to look into this case specifically, in which case I may come back to you for more details, however I hope to also get some information about how appointment bookings/ notifications are handled.

I would also just like to acknowledge the positives you have also highlighted in your post - I am glad that the care your son received at Yorkhill was excellent, and also that the secretary you had contact with was helpful to you. I'd also like to wish your son all the best in his recovery from his operations and hope he is doing well.

Best Wishes,


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