"I keep being cancelled"

About: Alexandra Hospital / Oral surgery

(as the patient),

I was referred to the Worcester Acute Hospitals (the Alexandra in Redditch) by my dentist in October 2005 to have my wisdom teeth removed in the Oral Surgery Service.

On the 13th February I received confirmation of being added to the outpatient waiting list. On the 14th February I received another letter offering me an outpatient appointment and to ring to make my initial appointment. On the 17th February I received an outpatient appointment letter for the 28th April.

At this appointment I was given was given my pre-op accessment and details of my admission for procedure (which I would call a day case procedure) for the 23rd June which had been a cancellation.

On the 9th June they wrote to me again cancelling my appointment and telling me to attend on the 29th August. So I had to rearrange my schedule and commitments yet again.

On the 6th July they wrote to me again to tell me they were changing my appointment but told me I do not need to do anything and they were going to contact me again with a new date.

On the 10th July they wrote to me confirming that my appointment has been arranged for the 29th September.

I am loathe to make arrangements around this date as I have no confidence that this would not be cancelled by the hospital yet again. When I phoned to enquire about these cancellations the reason for this are Consultant booking annual leave.

I understand the government has set targets for Hospitals in the hope of the improving patient services but circumstances like this does nothing to increase my expectations of the NHS. I have to constantly rearrange my personal and working life around appointments which keep being changed. I am also having to regularly attend my GP for antibiotics for infection and I am in a lot of pain which the hospital doesn't seem bothered about.

I asked about the day case waiting target of 6 months and was told that all of my appointments have been registered on the system as outpatient appointments. The government sets targets but hospitals code these differently to avoid breaching these. Yet a hospital so far away will register these as first outpatients and my op as a day case.

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