"Pretty disastrous."

What I liked

One member of staff with whom I spoke, who was pleasant and helpful.

What could be improved

The training of the staff towards being pleasant and helpful and giving their name as they pick up the call.

Waiting times.

Anything else?

I tried to make an appointment for a blood test. I was on hold for longer than 10-15 minutes, at no 10 in the queue. I wanted an early morning appointment, but the staff member started questioning me about the type of blood test: fasting or non-fasting. I indicated to her that this piece of info should be irrelevant to her, as her job is to allocate the first available appointment according to the patient's request, and not to her own choice. She then became really rude and abrasive and said that she would not offer me an early morning appointment unless I read from the form that the doctor had requested a fasting one. In the end, to my total shock, she hung up on me. She wasn't concerned that I might complain, as she didn't give me her name, which should be mandatory for Government employees. She behave like she was running her own back-of-the-van business. Zero accountability and respect for patients who spend precious time to book an appointment.

Employees like this one should be replaced with 'book on line' services.

Why is this system called CHOICE if patients are at the hands of an appointments clerk?

This happened on 18th October 2011, around 3pm.

Story from NHS Choices

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