"Appointments Disaster - AGAIN"

About: Westmorland General Hospital

Anything else?

I was referred by my optician and my GP to have a cataract removed. I went through the 'online system' so I could choose which hospital I attended. I tried to book Furness General - as was recommended by people I knew, but there were no appointments available, so I chose Westmorland General. My appointment was booked for Tuesday 5th February 2013, and I printed off all the necessary details from my computer. I arranged time off work, as did my partner so he could take me to the appointment - as I was instructed 'not to drive'. Today, Monday 4th February, I decided to phone the clinic to check if there was anything else I needed to do/not do before turning up. I had received no further correspondence from the hospital - and I thought I should have received 'something!'

I phoned the telephone number for appointments, the person I spoke to was as helpful as could be - 'wasn't 100% sure - but said that I should not wear my contact lenses for 3 weeks PRIOR to the appointment'. I was unaware of this, so decided to try and get full confirmation. I was given another number to ring - the person was relatively helpful - but said 'this information wasn't listed on their system - so it would probably be ok - as it didn't say otherwise - but don't quote me!'

I managed to obtain yet another telephone number, this person was quite helpful - but still couldn't give me the answer I needed! However, this person spoke to someone else, who 'went off to try and find out'.

I needed to leave home to go to work, so I asked if I could be given a contact number for the actual clinic - to save the staff time, and for me to hopefully speak to someone who could give me the correct information.

The best they could come up with (and I'm glad they did) was the telephone number for Furness General. I asked for the Eye Clinic, and was put through promptly.

The lady I spoke to ( a Staff Nurse) was more than helpful - and explained I should have been sent a confirmation letter from WGH explaining everything I needed to know, prior to attending the clinic. She checked with another staff member, and records showed that I should have been sent a letter on 29th December 2012.

I am not saying that my letter had not been sent to me - but I certainly didn't receive one. However, I have had problems with WGH before, concerning letters and appointments - so I AM losing confidence in this hospital.

I have now cancelled my appointment at WGH and will re-book my appointment at the clinic at Furness General - as they are the only ones that seem to know what they are doing.

Story from NHS Choices

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


Response from Westmorland General Hospital

We're sorry your appointment didn't run smoothly, and we'd like to investigate, but to do this we would need some further details. We'd be grateful if you would contact our customer care team on 01539 795 497.

Many thanks for taking the time and trouble to comment on our services.

Please be assured we have sent these comments to the management of the service concerned so they are aware of the issues you faced and can investigate. Many thanks again

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

Updates, changes and questions related to this story