"Problems with Patientline"

About: Southport & Formby District General Hospital

(as the patient),

The potential for relieving workloads from staff, and worry from relatives is a service that is extremely helpful. However it evaporates due to the exorbitant cost of using this facility.

For us the service did not provide immediate access to addressing problems that arose when a package was purchased.

1. Family and friends ringing in had to listen to a lengthy message that increased the length of time they were charged for using this premium line

2. Only to find that calls were disconnected before being put through to the patient

3. Calling their advice customer line, which also is a premium number. Again after listening to a lengthy message received a ‘fax tone’

4. And their customer care service was not easy to use or very user friendly presumably in hope that customer will let the matter slide as they have more pressing concerns for their relatives or loved ones.

This company seems to play on the fact that patients will be too ‘vulnerable’ to pursue loss of payment for a faulty service, that relatives will be too distress / worried to also pursue bad service and that friends will not want to worry relatives or the patient for their bad experience in getting put through

When ward phones were provided any problems that arose were dealt with quickly that day

Now unfortunately, Patientline being the only provider, is able to virtually holding the public to ransom on cost and poor service.

I strongly feel this is an issue that should be looked into and the monopoly of this company removed.

It is doing little to enhance the image of hospital stay and inadvertently reflects badly on the Hospital and ward staff as ‘endorsing this product’.

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Responses

Response from

Initial Response: Dear Jiggs Thank you for your comments about Patientline. Unfortunately, because Patientline is not administered by the Trust I am afraid I cannot answer them. However, I have passed your comments on to our local Patientline representative and asked them for their comments. Once we have received a reply from them I will post it here. Matthew King External Communications Manager ************************************************************ Response Updated on 14th August 2007: Dear Jiggs, I promised above I would post any response we received from Patientline to your posting. I have just heard that the Patientline Site Manager has been in touch with both you and your daughter and that they have arranged a refund for you. Again, I would like to thank you for taking the time to post your comments and hope the situation has now been resolved. Matthew King External Communications Manager
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