"Kings College: from bad to worse. Disorganisation is contagious"

About: King's College Hospital (Denmark Hill)

(as the patient),

I was supposed to see a specialist in March. Kings put it back a month to April. I turned up and waited several hours to be told the consultant had gone home. A man told me to come back the following week and tell the receptionist to squeeze me in somehow (very professional).

I made sure I left with a phone number of some one connected to the specialist, as I did not want to waste more time. I rang and was told that had I turned up on the day the man told me to tell the receptionist to squeeze me, there is no way I would have been seen as the clinic was overbooked. (So it seems this hospital knowingly overbooks)

I had to accept a date another month away (now 2 months after the original appointment was supposed to be). I was told that least I would be guaranteed seeing him and it was at the start of the day so I would not sit around wasting hours of time when I should be at work.

You could have knocked me down with a feather when today I received 2 letters: one confirming my appointment a month away, and another telling me that appointment had been cancelled and I should now turn up on the day that was overbooked!

As I am employed full time, I need a reasonable amount of notice to reschedule work, I also have to check whether my employer would be happy for me to take yet more time off work (it would be the 3rd hospital appt in 1 week, as I have many different health issues: that includes the half day wasted when I didn't get to see the specialist)

Also, why would I turn up on a day I have been told is overbooked and that my consultant may not even be there?

When I tried to make sense of it by calling Kings I was told I had now lost my slot a month away and it may not be able to have that appointment. They seemed surprised when I said I needed a reasonable amount of notice. Telling me on a Thursday I have an appointment on the Monday is not good enough.

This hospital have just screwed things up it seems

I have given up ever seeing my consultant. There comes a cut off point when you have to just give up and walk away. Otherwise it causes too much stress and takes up too much time. It's an exercise in futility.

What saddens me is I had to fight so hard to be referred to him in the first place.

It is also notable that this hospital knowingly overbooks, so they knowingly waste our time.

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Responses

Response from Jessica Bush, Head of Engagement and Patient Experience, Patient and Public Involvement, King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for taking the time to comment about King's College Hospital on Patient Opinion. We are very sorry for the continuing difficulties and frustration being experienced with communication with the hospital about your appointment. So that we can address some of the problems that you have experienced, it would be very helpful to have further details, such as which specialty you have been referred into. We would be very grateful if you could contact King's Patient Advice and Liaison Service so that we can take this forward. They can be contacted either by emailing kch-tr.pals@nhs.net or phoning 020 3299 3601. Alternatively, please get in touch with me directly on 020 3299 4618 or via email to jessica.bush@nhs.net. Once again, please accept our apologies and I do hope that we can communicate further so that we can avoid this happening again.

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Response from King's College Hospital (Denmark Hill)

I am very sorry once again to hear of your difficulties with the service provided by King's College Hospital. I have responded today to your other comment and would again urge you to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service so that we can discuss the issues that you have raised in more detail and also take them up with relevant staff so that we can put actions in place to stop this happening again. We really value your feedback but we would like to be able to do something to address the issues and would really appreciate you gettingn in touch.

Update posted by Waarheid (the patient)

To add insult to injury, my long awaited appointment has once again been put back. I have been given less than 1 working day's notice to inform my employer of the change. I was assured this would not happen again - I was meant to see this consultant in March, then April, then May - I was promised to be first on the list. I don't know if I can be bothered anymore,

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