"Appointment system for Rheumatology Department"

About: Altrincham General Hospital

Who made the decision to give several patients the exact same appointment times? This lack of respect for patients and the already overworked doctors and nursing staff is a disgrace. I assume it was some Management Personnel with little experience of life. Common sense would normally indicate that asking several people to turn up at the same time will frustrate patients as inevitably all except the first patient will have to wait (for some patients this will be in excess of an hour). Staff and doctors have to apologise for something that is certainly not their fault whilst Management are probably tucking into their lunch quite unconcerned. This system is poor management, probably looks good on a spreadsheet and after all what is more important... statistics (which those of us with a science MSc know can prove anything!!) or the patients and overworked clinical staff? Come on, someone, please take the initiative and treat patients and clinical staff with respect and book appointments every ten or fifteen minutes not allL at 11.15am.

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Response from Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for your feedback. We are sorry to learn that your experience was not as positive as we would hope when you attended the Rheumatology Clinic at Trafford General Hospital.

We can confirm that both our Consultant outpatient clinic templates run at intervals - one being 10 minute intervals and the other at 15 minute intervals. These templates allow for all new patients to be seen at 20 minute intervals (for both Consultants) and were agreed by the Rheumatology Consultants. On some occasions appointments may be overbooked at the request/authorisation of the Consultant.

We would like to reassure you that the management team are aware of the frustrations caused to patients by delays experienced in the outpatient clinics. The management team, along with the Consultants, will continue to monitor the management of the outpatient clinic templates closely to ensure that patients are not inconvenienced.

If you would like to discuss this with us in more detail, please feel free to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 0161 276 8686 or by e-mailing pals@cmft.nhs.uk