"Appointment cancelled, but no-one thought to..."

About: Kent & Canterbury Hospital

An appointment which had already been postponed from July was meant to have taken place today. Earlier this week, I received a text message on my phone to remind me of the date and time. As I work in London, I had to take a day off to attend, and duly drove to Canterbury (an hour and a half round trip from my home). When I arrived, it became clear that the consultant who is treating me was on annual leave and my appointment had been postponed (again). Yet, no-one had thought to contact me and let me know. Given that patients are berated for missing appointments, it is hard to see how this treatment is justifiable. Clearly, the people co-ordinating such things don't understand what goes into arranging to attend appointments, scheduling work commitments around them, filling the car up with petrol the evening before, etc. Besides this, losing two months in a time-dependent fertility process can cause serious setbacks. I was on the verge of tears when I left, thinking about how the opportunity to have a family might have been missed. At the very least, I have wasted three hours of my life which could have been much better spent on my work – ironically enough, developing health policy for Parliament.

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Response from Kent & Canterbury Hospital

I am most profusely sorry for the frustration this cancelled appointment caused you.

It is deeply vexing, given all the arrangements you had to make to attend.

Please will you give PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service) a ring so that they can take your details so that a proper response and apology can be provided to you.

PALS will also be able to advise how you can claim back your travel costs.

PALS telephone numbers are 01227 783145 or 01227 864314, but you may well get the answerphone because they are dealing with another caller at the time.

Please leave a message and they will guarantee to get back to you.

Alternatively you can send an email to ekh-tr.PALS@nhs.net

I hope you are provided with another appointment very soon.

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