"Callers' attitude neither friendly or helpful"

About: Telford referral and quality service (TRAQS) The Princess Royal Hospital / Neurology

(as the patient),

Following an appointment with my GP in December 2012, I was referred to the Neurology Service at The Princess Royal Hospital.

I subsequently received a telephone call from the TRAQS in mid-January 2013 offering an appointment in March at West Park Hospital, Wolverhampton. Due to travel problems I refused this appointment, requesting either Telford or Shrewsbury Hospital. At this point I was informed that I would have a longer wait for an appointment since there was nothing available on the system at that time.

The caller's attitude was neither friendly or helpful and made me feel uncomfortable. However, I then received a letter offering me an appointment at Telford for the end of February 2013. This letter and a reminder letter for the appointment both arrived on the same day, 2 weeks before the appointment.

No problems with this appointment.

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Response from Helen Handy, TRAQS & CAB Co-Ordinator, Telford and Wrekin CCG

Thank you for sharing your experience with us. I am disappointed to hear that your experience with TRAQS appears to have fallen below the high standards we expect and usually achieve. Unfortunately because of capacity issues at our local hospitals we are experiencing chsllenges regarding Neurology appointments locally. This is why you were initially offered an appointmrnt at West Park which was the first available appointment. TRAQS appreciate that not all patients are able to travel further for a sooner appointment depending upon individual circumstances. However, we have to ensure thst the patient is fullybaware of the potential for a longer wait if choosing to attend a local hospital. I am pleased to note that you received an appointment without too long a delay. Thank you again for taking the time to provide the team with feedback. It is much appreciated.

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Response from The Princess Royal Hospital

Thank you for sharing your feedback. I am sorry that you found the TRAQS service run by local GPs to be unfriendly and unhelpful, but that once you received a referral to our services this went well. Thank you also for letting us know about the letters. There are definitely improvements that we can make and we are working on this. In your case I think the following happened: your appointment would have been booked and this would have automatically generated a letter advising you of the appointment; but, for your appointment the system will automatically generate a reminder letter two weeks before the appointment; since the appointment was registered on the system only just before the two week window unfortunately both letters were generated and you received both. The reminder letter system isn't quite clever enough to check that the original letter has only just been sent. Sorry.

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