"Appointment cancelled one day beforehand"

About: King's College Hospital (Denmark Hill)

(as the patient),

I had been waiting for several months for an appointment - which was due to take place shortly at Kings.

Today, 1 working day before the appointment, I received a letter telling me my appointment had been put back a month.

I am a busy professional, so have already booked time off work, which meant rearranging my work schedule, which is particularly heavy at the moment.

Why does the NHS think it acceptable to let me know at the last minute about the postponement? If the letter had arrived 1 day later - it would have been too late and I would have made a wasted trip. NHS time is not more valuable than that of the taxpayers who fund it.

Kings finds it acceptable to send me unsolicited texts in breach of the Data Protection Act, with inane reminders about appointments - and sends out patronising letters with warning about being late or not turning up for appointments. So why not call - in good time - when you have a genuine reason, i.e. postponement of my appointment? It would be common courtesy and spare me the enormous inconvenience now suffered. Kings insists on sending letters 2nd class - previously I received a letter telling me I had an appointment that same day!

This is literally the 2nd NHS appointment that has fallen flat in 2 days! I already posted about the other (St Thomas). These hospitals are 2 of a kind.

Also, I already posted about my poor experience of recent day surgery at Kings - so these are not isolated service failures, but seem to be the norm.

The lack of respect with which patients (taxpayers) are treated is truly astounding.

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Responses

Response from Cathy Varley, PALS Manager, King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Your comment raises valid concerns about a significantly short notice alteration to an appointment and the varying methods being used to communicate appointment issues with patients.

I am very sorry that you have been caused additional inconvenience after your recent attendance in the Day Surgery unit.We would like the opportunity to investigate how this appointment alteration occurred with such an inadquate notice period if you could contact us with some more detail.

The manager who would like to investigate so that he can review current policies and systems and offer you some feedback is Mr Alex Forster. His email address is alexforster@nhs.net

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Update posted by Waarheid (the patient)

No thanks - I cannot bear to waste more energy on the NHS, which wears me out more than my chronic diseases you fail to manage efficiently.

After my hideous experience with day surgery where you administered contra-indicated drugs WITHOUT my consent (despite the serious legal implications), why would I have confidence in your investigation into the latest service failure?

You would do well to remember that the NHS is not exempt from the Data Protection Act. You are legally obliged to provide patients with an 'opt out' for unsolicited comms, otherwise you need my specific authorisation to contact me via text message. I have every right to report you to the Office of the Information Commissioner for breach of the Data Protection Act.