"Short notice appointments are inconvenient"

About: Crosshouse Hospital / Physiotherapy Scottish Ambulance Service / Patient Transport Service

(as the patient),

I had a knee operation in mid-September and have been waiting for physiotherapy treatment following on from this.

I just received a letter with an appointment tomorrow and called the ambulance transport service straightaway so that I could get to Crosshouse Hospital. However, I was refused transport service – they said they were unable to provide an ambulance at short notice. I can appreciate that point but then again it does not help people like me who have appointments within a day of receiving a letter from the hospital.

I now have to wait another week for a rescheduled appointment when all the advice states that physiotherapy should not be delayed.

There needs to be enough time between the appointment letter being sent and the actual appointment for transport to be arranged where needed.

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Responses

Response from Sharon Hammell, Head of Corporate Affairs and Engagement, Scottish Ambulance Service

Dear Attentive 106

I am really sorry we weren't able to take you to your physiotherapy last week. That must have been very frustrating. Please let me know if everything went smoothly for you this week.

In the meantime, I'll share your feedback with the Head of the Patient Transport Service to see if there's any more we can do to improve co-ordination of our services with the your local NHS Board.

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Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

picture of Eunice Goodwin

Dear Attentive 106,

I would like to add to Sharon's sentiments above. I am really sorry it was not possible to have your Physiotherapy despite having an appointment.

While this short-notice appointment was not helpful to you and for that I am sorry but, I feel I need to say that they can be very useful in some circumstances. If a patient cancel an appointment at short notice, offering it to someone else can help us to prevent wasting the appointments. Unfortunately, sometimes we are not aware that patients are not going to attend and without notification, we can't offer them to some one else so some appointments are lost.

I will also ensure awareness is raised about your unfortunate situation so we can look at possibilities to avoid it happening again.

I hope you are getting better and your physio is arranged and helping.

Best wishes,

Eunice

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Update posted by Attentive106 (the patient)

I was not complaining about the ambulance service.Have since used it and it is excellent.

What I was complaining about was getting appointment less than 24 hours before it was due,and being unable to arrange transport with ambulance service.

Surely it would have been much better to phone me or e mail me and give me appointment times,as this would have allowed me time to book an ambulance.

Can I just thank the physios at Crosshouse knee department,as they have been superb in getting me back on my feet,and after 4 weeks I am nearly back to normal.

Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

picture of Eunice Goodwin

Dear Attentive106,

Yes, I agree that sending you a letter in this instance was not helpful and I am sorry it caused the delay. I will pass your post to the manager of the referral management service for their awareness. I will also make sure that the Physiotherapy department are aware of your lovely feedback about their service. Thank you for bringing this to our attention and I am glad you have recovered so quickly,

Best wishes,

Eunice

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Response from NHS Ayrshire and Arran

Dear Attentive106,

The practice of offering appointments within Allied Health Professions (AHP) would be:

Within Allied Health Professions (AHP) we work with waiting lists for each of our clinical areas, when a patient is approaching the top of the waiting list a letter would be sent inviting the patient to call in and make an appointment, this would be done by our referral management centre based at Biggart Hospital.

If there is a clinical reason that the patient should be seen urgently, then we would telephone the patient to make an appointment with them, however if we have been unable to make contact with the patient we would send out a letter with a first class stamp on it, this can be less than 7 days notice.

If we have patients cancelling appointments, we do work with a short notice waiting list, whereby we would call patients on this list to offer an appointment, this way we are ensuring that full utilisation of scarce/expensive resource is being utilised, however, if the patient cannot attend at short notice this does not affect their waiting list position.

If you would like to contact Eunice on 01563 826222 or email her on eunice.goodwin@aapct.scot.nhs.uk and her know your CHI number we can investigate further for you.

Mrs Jamieson

AHP Administration Coordinator

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