"Lost letter meant a missed appointment"

About: Doncaster Royal Infirmary

(as the patient),

Originally I made an appointment with the GP, as I needed to be referred. I saw the gp in October 2015 and received an appointment really quickly.

I went to the appointment and was told it was the wrong department. I was then told to make another appointment with my gp. Okay, I didn't have time to go back to my gp, so went in February 2016. I get an appointment for March, but unfortunately I couldn't make it due to work commitments.

I rang the nhs referral help line and was told I can only cancel it and another will be sent to me. Now it's mid April and I'm getting a bit impatient, so I ring the helpline to enquire about a new date. I was told I have missed it, I didn't turn up. They can't help so was told to ring the orthotics department.

The orthotics dept confirmed to me I didn't turn up, so cancelled the whole process, and I will have to start all over again with my gp. I explained that I had not received a letter. I was told they sent it, it's on their records so I should take it up with Royal Mail - the hospital can't help it if Royal Mail doesn't deliver it.

I said they have my phone number, so couldn't that have rung me when I didn't turn up? The receptionist said it's not their problem if I don't turn up, they just take me off the process.

I asked if they could make another appointment for me because of error of not receiving a letter. But they said no, because they sent me a letter, it's on file here that they sent me one.

I asked to speak to somebody in charge to help me out but the receptionist replied that there is no manager in until Thursday.

When I make an appointment anywhere else within the nhs I have always received a text message informing I have booked an appointment and a reminder to turn up to it, why wasn't this the case with this department? I think it a waste of my time and especially the GP's time to request another referral with them, especially when I am not at fault.

If the orthotics department isn't at fault then surely there is a flaw in the system to issue appointments out to patients. blaming Royal Mail is disgusting and absurd in my opinion!

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Responses

Response from Gill Pickersgill, Communications & Engagement Officer, Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust We are preparing to make a change

Hi - Thank you for your feedback regarding your outpatient appointment and apologies for the frustration you must have had regarding your appointment letter.

We have high demand for our Orthotics services and we work within the Trust access policy regarding management of patients who do not attend. This is essential to ensure appointments are available as soon as possible for all patients who want our assistance. The service is looking to implement a text reminder service but unfortunately this is not in place yet.

I am sorry that in this particular situation it does seem that there has been a problem with receipt of the appointment letter, if you would like to contact the Therapy Services Admin on 01302 644111 we would be happy to discuss and arrange another appointment.

Sorry for the inconvenience you have had.

Regards

Gill Pickersgill

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