"Spacious and airy."

About: Central Middlesex Hospital

(as a relative),

What I liked

Spacious and airy.

What could be improved

Booking system:

Fractured my wrist in another country 4 weeks ago and received initial care there - just a plaster cast.

I went to Edgware Walk-In centre 9 days ago to get continuation of care and was told to go to Central Middlesex A&E where I could get an appointment for the Fracture Clinic there. Edgware Walk-In centre also told me that I do not need to get a referral from my GP as I had an x-ray and note from the doctor who initially treated me.

Central Middlesex Hospital A&E told me that they could not get me an appointment as the Trauma was closed (being a Sunday). They then gave me a number to call.

Called Trauma the following day and was told that the person who books the appointments was at lunch. I continued the conversation with the operator and was then told that I must have a referral from my GP and that my x-ray and note from a foreign doctor was not valid.

I booked an appointment with my GP and was initially given an appointment 2 weeks from then. I told my GP surgery that I could not wait this long for treatment as I still have a suspected broken hand on top of the fractured wrist. They told me that I would need to book an emergency appointment the next day. Got home that evening and got a voicemail stating that I could just pickup the referral from the reception at the surgery the following day. So someone saw sense.

Next day I called Trauma again to book an appointment as I now had my referral from my GP. I got through to a human operator after numerous attempts initially with a computer. I explained my circumstances to the operator and was put through to Trauma outpatients. They said I was put through to wrong number. So I had to call again and had a chat with that computer again before reaching the human operator. The operator told me that the woman who does the bookings was on a training course and I was then promptly put through to an unknown answer machine. I hung up. See 'Anything else? for continuation...

Anything else?

Today I called up again and finally got through to the correct person and was told that I must fax through my referral. I'm now worried that I have another set of phonecalls to make and that the experience so far reflects the standard of care at this clinic.

Concluding I find this very exhausting. Does it have to be this difficult?

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Central Middlesex Hospital

We were sorry to learn of the problems that you have experienced with making your appointment. If you would like any assistance or if you wish to raise your concerns formally, please call the Patient Relations Team on 020 8869 2026, who will be happy to help and advise you.

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