"Felt rushed when booking my appointment with Sentinel"

About: Sentinel Healthcare Southwest Community Interest Company / Referral & Appointment Booking Team

(as the patient),

I was informed by my GP that I would receive a telephone call from Sentinel by/around 10 working days - it was 11 days, giving me a list of venues to see the consultant. Initially I was given no option, onnly Derriford. I mentioned where I lived but was informed the consultant at this time has no other referrals for that venue and could take 12-16 weeks. So naturally I went for Derriford and booked an appointment.

On sleeping on this for 24hrs I realised I wasn't even offered another venue other than the 2 in question. I phoned up again to enquire about another venue I had in mind for convenience. It was at this point that the pleasant lady informed me that the consultant didn't go to this other venue. So after discussing and confirming my booking at Derriford was told, that isn't correct - you are down for the previous week, which would have been so annoying if I turned up a week late.

Although both conversations I had with female staff were pleasant and courteous, I got the feeling I was being rushed to make a decision. So maybe they could get on to the next patient. Maybe Sentinel needs to employ more contact staff, so they can make appointments correctly without having to rush and get things wrong.

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Response from Rachel Newport, Sentinel Secretarial Support, Sentinel CAS, Sentinel Healthcare CiC

I am very sorry that there appears to have been some confusion with your booking, and thank you for taking the time to provide this feedback. Your feedback is very helpful and has made points that we need to now reflect on in order to improve the service we provide. We do try to ensure that patients are seen as quickly as possible and accept that the nature of the calls we make means that patients are being asked to make an immediate decision. It is important for us to acknowledge that some patients may prefer to have time to think about what’s available before making a decision. We are very pleased that you chose to ring us back to clarify your options, and that the response you received was pleasant. As you say it was very fortunate given the confusion over the date and would like to apologize for any error that was made. We will now reflect on your comments, thank you.

The Sentinel Team.

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