"Chaotic appointments admin"

About: Birmingham Midland Eye Centre

I was referred to the BMEC from Hereford hospital in mid October 2015.

By mid December I had heard nothing so I phoned for confirmation that I was in the queue for an appointment.

The person I spoke to apologised for the fact that I hadn't been informed, but my referral hadn't been authorised.

They said they would make sure it was authorised promptly and I said I would phone back in the new year to check.

I phoned in the first week of January 2016 and was assured that the authorisation had been done and I was now in the queue for an appointment.

About a week later my GP phoned to say he'd received a letter from BMEC saying they had declined to accept the referral and that I should go back to Hereford hospital.

They said they would investigate.

A few days later I received a letter containing 2 appointments at the BMEC, both on the same day.

I booked a NHS car to take me there and back.

Shortly after that I received another appointment, this time from the Birmingham Queen Elizabeth hospital, for the week after the BMEC ones.

A NHS driver took me to the BMEC appointments as arranged.

However, when we arrived we found that they did not exist.

The appointment at the Queen Elizabeth hospital had replaced them but no-one had told me and there was no mention of it in the letters I had received.

I was singularly unimpressed by this, and annoyed that NHS resources had been wasted providing transport unnecessarily.

It seems to me that the BMEC appointments process must be in a state of chaos.

I suggest that anyone who is waiting for an appointment there should make sure they are in the queue, and should phone to check that their appointment is a valid one before leaving home.

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