"Voicemail information totally inadequate"

About: Lymington New Forest Hospital

In the morning I had to ring both Southampton Hospital and Princess Anne Hospital Eye Clinic to confirm and reschedule appointments for my aged mother in law.

In the afternoon I had a voicemail asking her to ring an 0845 number to book a follow up appointment.

I rang on my mobile and had the most confusing conversation in which I managed to establish that the call was from Lymington Hospital who wanted her to book a follow up appointment for an eye procedure she had over a year ago. This call of about four minutes cost £2.07 despite being told by the person on the phone it would be charged at the national rate.

Firstly please train your staff to leave relevant, detailed messages, with the name of the hospital, department and their name. Ma in law can't be the only person under the care of more than one hospital.

Secondly the use of an 0845 number is an extra cost and penalty to someone who is sick/or in need of the service.

I normally have the highest of praise for Lymington Hospital but in this instance they needlessly caused unnecessary stress and worry by their lack of competence in leaving a simple explanatory voicemail.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Lymington New Forest Hospital

Thank you for posting your feedback on NHS Choices. In order to maintain patient confidentiality, we are unable to leave messages on answer phones as a general rule. I appreciate this can be frustrating but we need to adhere to strict guidelines concerning this out of respect for our patients. I have shared your feedback regarding the telephone number you needed to call and the cost associated with this. They have advised that the telephone system has been reviewed and it is not possible to change the number at this time but have noted your comments and will do everything they can, to provide an affordable service in the future. If you would like to discuss this further, please contact me on 023 80 874065, so I can put you in touch with the hospital manager.

Best wishes Julie White Custoemr Experience Advisor

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