"Appointment line is a joke"

About: Queen's Hospital (Romford)

I've never been treated at Queens so cannot pass comment on the hospital itself however, the appointments line has not been a great start, I thought getting through to my GP was bad. I received an appointment letter for ophthalmology but the date was inconvenient, as requested on the letter I attempted to call the number specified on multiple occasions without anyone picking up. There isn't even an automated message to tell you you're through to the right number or that you're in a queue to reassure you that there is actually someone at the other end answering calls! All you get is truly horrendous music that is high pitched enough to give anyone a headache. I work for the NHS so understand the pressures people work under but this was ridiculous. I am looking after patients during my working hours with clinical responsibilities so have had to use breaks to try to call, today after a record 30 minutes holding (just to see what would happen, which turned out to be absolutely nothing) I gave up and went online to see if there was any alternative number only to find that you can cancel appointments online, which is not mentioned on the letter at all!!! Why not? It's not ideal as you can't express a preference for early or late appointments if available but at least my appointment is now cancelled and a new one requested. Please fix the appointment line, even GP's have better systems than this.

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