Letter cancelling appointment arrived too late
A WARMLEY man arrived at hospital to find his appointment had been cancelled by post – but the letter arrived after he set off.
Nigel Seabourne had taken a £20 taxi ride to Southmead Hospital to be sure to arrive on time for the 9.30am appointment, only to find that it had been rearranged and that details of the alternative slot had been sent to his home address.
When he arrived at the Avon Orthopaedic Centre on Friday he was told that a letter would probably have arrived that day. The original appointment had been arranged about six months ago and the 45-year-old said he asked if there was a chance of still being seen that morning.
But the receptionist told him that would not be possible as people were waiting for their scheduled appointments.
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"When I turned up I was told 'sorry sir but your appointment has been rearranged, have you received your letter?' She had a look and said the new appointment had been sent out two days before and I 'should receive it today'.
"I said if I had received the letter I would not have made arrangements to be there.
"They said I could wait to be seen but that patients with allocated slots would have to be seen first, but I said I had an allocated slot at 9.30am.
"Another patient came up to me afterwards and said it was 'absolutely disgusting' and that I should make a complaint about it."
Mr Seabourne, who has been suffering problems with his knee following a cruciate ligament repair, said: "Lo and behold, when I got home there was a letter saying that sorry my appointment had been rearranged for September 28, but what if I sent them a letter saying I was not going to make it and then phoned on the day to ask if they had received my letter?"
A spokesman for the hospital trust said: "We fully recognise the importance of keeping appointments as they are given but sometimes the need to rearrange is unavoidable. If we do need to change appointments at short notice every effort is made to contact the patient by telephone.
"It would appear that on this occasion the message did not get through in time and we are very sorry to Mr Seabourne for the inconvenience this has caused."