"Wait for appointment"

About: St Thomas' Hospital / Ear, Nose and Throat

(as the patient),

I was referred by my GP to the ENT department at St Thomas's I thought something wasn't right when I received a letter two weeks after referral informing me that I would receive a letter with an appointment date.

It's been seven weeks since that letter arrived and still no letter with an appointment so phoned the access team. Who basically said there is a 6 month waiting list and when I questioned this by pointing out that would go over the 18 week period to be seen and start treatment or be discharged the operator told me that my GP should have told me!

Actually they didn't but I do think St Thomas's should in their first initial letter thereby giving me the patient a 'choice' about whether or not I can or am willing to wait. As it is I'm throwing up daily and feel like I'm living life on a merry go round but the operators next helpful tip was to 'perhaps' pay private'!

I get it, I get that the NHS is being squeezed for cash but I think this is no way to treat people you are either up front and clear or your aren't and you haven't been I'm voting with my feet and looking elsewhere despite the already seven week wait because I believe that if you can't respect patients at this point you aren't likely to be able to respect me if and when I am seen.

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Response from Sarah Allen, Patient Experience Manager, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Decidendi

Thank you for sharing your feedback with us. We are concerned about the problems you are experiencing in trying to get an appointment with our ENT department. We would like to apologise for this and the attitude of the staff that you spoke with. We would like to help you resolve this and arrange an appointment for you. Please could you contact Wendy Doyle, Complaints Manager either via email wendy.doyle@gstt.nhs.uk or telephone 020 7188 7347

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