"Postal Services"

About: Rotherham Hospital / Urology

(as a relative),

My Husband was to go into Hospital, and was given a date in late May. Rang to say not received letter, was told date changed to June.

Near to date no letter received so rang again, only to be told a new date of mid June and we would receive a letter.

We still had not received a letter a few days before the appointment so we rang again. We were told the letter was sent out a few days before and they would send duplicate (which seemed pointless as we had not received original) so asked if we could collect the duplicate, which we did, but then the next day we received not one but two letters, both the same and dated 3 days earlier (obviously sent by pigeon post as not received for 6 days! )

It does not end there, had operation and discharged, was told will get letter to come back in about 2 weeks. Then as of earlier this week we had not had a letter, therefore called Urology Outpatients. We were told a letter had been sent and the appointment was the next day early morning. We still have not received a letter and if we had not rung it would have been a missed appointment. I wonder how many appointments are missed? To me, this seems like a problem with the internal postal system.

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››

Responses

Response from Grace Oldfield, Patient Involvement Manager, Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust

Dear sussanah, thank you for your posting on the Patient Opinion web site.

We are very grateful to you for taking the time to feedback your experience with us and are concerned to learn about the various issues you have raised. We will be looking further into these and will come back to you in the near future.

With best wishes,

Grace

  • {{helpful}} of {{total()}} people think this response is helpful

Response from Grace Oldfield, Patient Involvement Manager, Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust

Dear sussanah, your posting has been discussed with senior staff who are most concerned to learn of your experience with us as we do try very hard to provide a quality service and on this occasion the process for informing patients regarding appointment dates has fallen short of the standards set in place, for which we apologise.

We are able to confirm that our appointment letter production processes have stringent controls to monitor and track every single letter sent via our automated mailing system, this ensures the correct documents are going into the correct envelopes to the correct recipient, all date and time stamped. In addition, all returned mail is centrally monitored so that the patient address data can be continually verified.

The system also has the ability to recognise urgent letters and automatically send these first class so that they are with the patient the following day. This comes up in instances where the number of days between the letter going out and the actual date of appointment is less than 7 days.

During the last few weeks however we have unfortunately had to stop using our automated system in order to make some quality changes to our letters, this has meant the Trust reverting to manual processes which does not provide us with the functionality explained above, and is also prone to human error.

Whilst we endeavour to ensure all correspondence is sent and received in a timely manner there are instances where this is not achieved, thankfully this is a very small percentage of our mail. As I am sure you can appreciate we also have no control over the services offered by Royal Mail.

We would like to take this opportunity to apologise for the inconveniences caused to you and your family but please be assured that we take our mailing processes very seriously and realise the impact it can have on our patients if this fails to meet both our and your expectations.

With best wishes,

Grace

  • {{helpful}} of {{total()}} people think this response is helpful