"Trying to contact for an Endoscopy"

About: Chase Farm Hospital

(as the patient),

Given a form by my doctor and told to ring number on it after a couple of days delay to get an appointment.

Try phoning number rings for about 10 minutes without reply, repeat this several times eventually getting through around mid day. Girl responding tells me its the wrong number and that I need 'surgicentre'. She says she will transfer me to switchboard.

Switchboard rings without reply for another ten minutes after which it seems I am automatically put through back to the girl I first spoke to. She tries to find the 'surgicentre' number to transfer me directly but after 5 minutes says she cannot find it. Says she will try and put me through to a different switchboard number.

After a few minutes get a reply and they say they will transfer me to the 'surgicentre'. After a few minutes ringing a nurse appears to pick up in what she calls the 'surgi' wards. Tell her what I want to which she says they don't do appointments and tells me to ring the number I first tried.

I explain this will get me nowhere as I have already rung it. She gives me two other numbers to try neither of which are answered after another 5 minutes of ringing each. Seems like I am being stone walled - not happy.

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Response from Digital Communications, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

Hi Obiewahn.

Sorry to hear that you are having trouble making an appointment for your endoscopy. Our patient advice and liaison service would be happy to help you with this - you can contact them on 020 8216 4924 or bcfpals@nhs.net.

In order for us to look into this further and improve our service, we would be grateful if you could drop the communications team a line on rf.communications@nhs.net and let us know which number you were ringing and any other details you may have, such as names, dates and times.

Many thanks, and apologies again for your experience.


Update posted by Obiewahn (the patient)

Thanks for the reply Rachel. I have sent emails to both the addresses you mention one requesting help with making an appointment and the other providing such additional details as I have. I am currently waiting a response from both.

Response from Digital Communications, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

Thanks Obiewahn. I have received the message you sent to rf.communications@nhs.net and will respond via email. Our PALS team will no doubt be in touch shortly also.


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Update posted by Obiewahn (the patient)

Received a contact from both the above email contacts,

Rachel informing me yesterday that my endoscopy had been changed to an ultrasound after my contact with my doctor on the same day - which was odd as I had no further contact with my doctor since my appointment on the 23rd just over a week ago!

Anyway contacted the ultrasound department only to be told that they had received no referral from my doctor so could not give me an appointment. Back to square one it seems.

The other contact email just requested my DOB, a contact telephone number and details of how they could help - may reply to the later with the latest update.

Update posted by Obiewahn (the patient)

Had an appointment today and after all the confusion above it was an endoscopy after all. Now have to wait to go back in a few weeks for some kind of Barium meal/X-Ray.