"Excessive phone payments to hospital appointment line"

About: Lister Hospital

(as the patient),

I am writing about the north herts nhs trust, Lister hospital, Stevenage. I received an appointment through the post and rang the appointment line to change it due to being booked on a holiday on the given date. The number was a local number for the area but I was kept in a queue to speak to some one for 61 minutes......My query was dealt with but when my phone bill arrived the call cost over £7. I checked with BT and they state its because its listed as a business call. The appointment line should be better staffed so you are not kept holding and paying before you have even spoken to anyone. You should also be made aware of the cost you are racking up whilst waiting.

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Response from Peter Gibson, Associate director, public affairs, East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust

We're really sorry that you had this experience and whilst the average response time is around 10 minutes, at peak times this can be longer for those seeking to talk with the appointments team. For future reference, we have two other ways you can achieve the same help but at much lower cost - you can request to cancel/change appointments online via our website (http://www.enherts-tr.nhs.uk/patients-visitors/cancelling-an-appointment/) or you can achieve the same outcome by emailing us at generalenquiries.enh-tr@nhs.net. Whilst we know that this information has come to you a bit on the late side, hopefully it will help you if you need to change an appointment again in the future.

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