"Specialist did not turn up for booked clinic"

About: North Devon District Hospital / Ear, Nose and Throat Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford) / Ear, Nose and Throat

(as the patient),

In November 2012 an initial appointment was made for me to see a consultant at the North Devon District Hospital, on 27th December. When I arrived for the consultation, I was informed that the consultant had not arrived to take any of the appointments. It being the day after Boxing Day, not only had I driven the 43 mile round trip form my house, I had taken a day out of my Christmas and New Year visit to my mother in South East Cornwall - a round trip of some 120 miles. The worst part, however, is that the new appointment made for me at the hospital is at the end of Jan - over 1 month on from my original appointment. The person on the desk suggested I try to contact the consultant's secretary, which I did at the earliest opportunity (she was away until 2nd Jan).

I was told to contact the Exeter appointments dept, which I did immediately. I explained the situation, and said I wanted a new appointment as soon as possible. The woman I spoke to made me an appointment for earlier in Jan, and said a confirmation letter would be sent.

Today I called the Exeter appointments office to confirm, and there was no record of my new appointment, or of me on their system. I then had to make a new appointment again, this time for the another day in mid Jan. So, this situation has left me out of pocket financially, due to the cost of petrol driving from SE Cornwall to the original appointment; it needlessly disrupted my Christmas; and it has meant that I have - through no fault of my own - had to wait an extra 18 days to see a specialist (on top of the original 4 weeks wait), with a problem that is causing me constant headaches, tinnitus and sleep problems.

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Response from Jayne Kruszewski, Customer Relations Manager, Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear patient

I was very dissapointed to read your comments on the website, and fully acknowledge how frustrating your experince must have been at the time.

I would welcome the opportunity to discuss your concerns with you in more detail and would be grateful if you could contact the Patient Advice and Liason (PALS) department on 01271 314090, or alternatively drop PALS a line via their email at pals@ndevon.swest.nhs.uk.

As a Trust we do aim to ensure systems run smoothly, however sometimes things do go wrong and when this happens we have a duty to investigate them to ensure we try to put things right for the patient and to stop it happening again. Hopefully we will be able to do both in this situation and I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards


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