"Poor quality of telephone response"

About: Bmi - Sarum Road Hospital

Not a great experience in attempting to ring the hospital to identify an appropriate consultant for lower back pain. A first call, made to the hospital's own direct number, was diverted to what was clearly a call centre. The individual who responded was completely unable to answer the very basic question regarding the hospital's consultant list. According to the person there was nobody able to help with lower back pain, but there was one lower limb specialist (clearly a different discipline). This response is clearly completely contrary to the facts in a hospital with a significant orthopaedic practice.

My second attempt, at 9.30 this morning, 7th September, did get me to the switchboard. I was then put through to 3 separate extensions, one of which informed me that the mailbox was full and unable to accept any further messages, the other two rang out unanswered.

When I contacted the switchboard again and asked someone to ring me back, I encountered a very poor attitude and tone inappropriate to a service based organisation. I was advised that it was Monday morning and the hospital was busy, in a tone suggesting that the fact should speak for itself.

The operator reluctantly suggested putting me through again to one of the earlier extensions but actually chose to cut me off, an act which appeared to be deliberate rather than accidental.

The initial telephone response from this organisation needs significant improvement and I would suggest staff selected on the basis of their ability to talk to and assist a potential customer. As so often, attitude is the key.

In the meantime, I'll try the Nuffield.

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