"Bad communication which was rectified"

About: Birmingham Chest Clinic / Allergy

(as the patient),

Some months ago I suffered a severe reaction to a bee sting and later blood tests showed bee venom antibodies. My GP referred me to the allergy clinic at Birmingham chest clinic.

I heard nothing for some months and then had a letter from them giving me two working days notice of am appointment. I called them and told them I could not come in at such short notice since I am caring for my wife who is in the last stages of a terminal illness.

The clinic has since sent a letter to my GP stating I "failed to attend" my appointment which I believed I had reasonably declined. Moreover they now want another referral. Anaphalapsis is life threatening. I have been stung twice since the first episode although not with such a severe reaction as the initial episode. However, a severe and possibly fatal reaction remains a possibility. To say I am unimpressed is something of an understatement.

Addition to the above story at a later time: I have now contacted the hospital concerned and had a most helpful discussion and action has been taken to rectify my concerns, including an apology. I am completely satisfied with the response.

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Response from Marie Helebert, Patient Services Officer, Patient Services, Heart of England Foundation Trust

Dear Porteous

Thank you for your feedback regarding the allergy clinic at Birmingham Chest Clinic.

I am sorry that you experienced delays regarding your appointment and then to receive such a short notice appointment after a long wait, when you have difficult personal circumstances with your wife being unwell, I can appreciate that you would require appropriate notice to enable you to make arrangements for care for your wife.

It would seem that the letter to your GP was sent due to a combination of poor communication and an administration error. I am extremely sorry for this.

I am very pleased that on contacting the trust your difficulties were resolved appropriately and a full apology offered to you.

Thank you for providing details of your experience, your feedback is very important to us, and helps us to gain learning outcomes to prevent repetition in the future for other patients.

So that your experience may be communicated to the administration team at Birmingham Chest Clinic, I will forward your feedback to Pat Davis, Manager at Birmingham Chest Clinic. Should you experience any difficulties in the future, please do not hesitate to contact Patient Services and we will be happy to assist you in resolving any concern.

With Kind Regards

Marie Helebert

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