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Appointments

Posted: 7 Jun 2017, 4:05pm
by Mick F
Is it just me?

If I get a letter from the NHS for an appointment at the local clinic, turn up 5mins early, and 20mins after my appointment time I'm still not called forward, I go and complain.
What makes them think that their time is more important than my time?
If there's a delay, why can't I be told when I arrive?
If I have an appointment with them, they also have an appointment with me. This is a two-way thing!
If I turned up 20mins late, THEY would complain!

Today, I complained, and then left, and told them to send me another appointment, and we'll try again.

Drives me MAD. :evil:

Re: Appointments

Posted: 7 Jun 2017, 4:14pm
by AlaninWales
There's a trick to getting hospital and Dr's appts to happen on time, but please don't tell everyone or it might ruin the effect. What I do is to take an interesting book to read; arrive 5 minutes early, tell them you have a book to read when you check in then settle down with the book. Every time I do this, I have barely settled to find the place I left off and my name has been called for the appointment. Whenever I forget the book, I have to wait ages!

This works so consistently that there is more than coincidence at work; of course I'm not suggesting any deliberate attempt to test patients' patience but there it is :lol: .

Re: Appointments

Posted: 7 Jun 2017, 4:33pm
by Si
From the other point of view......I put on lots of events that people book onto - they are clearly told what time they need to be there. Loads turn up late which results in lots of messing about and faff. Thus I now tell them to be there 15mins before they really need to be there, most get there more or less on time!

Alas, the tardy are spoiling it for the punctual....sometimes I'd prefer to say "no good, you are late, go away". But it's about getting numbers through the system so I can't.

Re: Appointments

Posted: 7 Jun 2017, 4:49pm
by pwa
My dentist was very good a few months back when I had an agonising pain and could not wait. They told me to come immediately and they would squeeze me in somehow. The initial treatment, which got rid of the pain, took about 20 minutes. After that, I am sure, people with appointments would have been seen a little late. But that is the price you pay for a service that is flexible and responsive. I'll remember that next time I am kept waiting.

When I go to the dentist the people at the desk do sometimes warn me that things are running a bit late.

Re: Appointments

Posted: 7 Jun 2017, 4:56pm
by toontra
I had a series of appointments with a consultant at my local hospital. Always at 9.30am. I gradually realised that everyone with an appointment for that particular clinic was told to turn up at 9.30 and that it was effectively first-come-first-serve. So I started arriving 15 or 20 minutes early and would be seen around 9.45 (never 9.30 even if I was first there). Anyone actually turning up "on time" or a little late could expect to wait 2 hours or longer.

The NHS, while generally a wonderful institution, sometimes gets things badly wrong.

Re: Appointments

Posted: 7 Jun 2017, 5:01pm
by iandriver
Had a first appointment a few years ago. Turned out the doctor was doing ward rounds first and that overran by 45 minutes. Bang goes the whole days schedule.

Re: Appointments

Posted: 7 Jun 2017, 5:03pm
by brynpoeth
AlaninWales wrote:There's a trick to getting hospital and Dr's appts to happen on time, but please don't tell everyone or it might ruin the effect. What I do is to take an interesting book to read; arrive 5 minutes early, tell them you have a book to read when you check in then settle down with the book. Every time I do this, I have barely settled to find the place I left off and my name has been called for the appointment. Whenever I forget the book, I have to wait ages!

This works so consistently that there is more than coincidence at work; of course I'm not suggesting any deliberate attempt to test patients' patience but there it is :lol: .


You are lucky to live in a land where the rules are a bit different and unknown powers are at work

I think I will add this to my book Chwedlau Gwerin Cymru, Welsh Folk Tales

+1

Re: Appointments

Posted: 7 Jun 2017, 5:05pm
by pwa
toontra wrote:I had a series of appointments with a consultant at my local hospital. Always at 9.30am. I gradually realised that everyone with an appointment for that particular clinic was told to turn up at 9.30 and that it was effectively first-come-first-serve. So I started arriving 15 or 20 minutes early and would be seen around 9.45 (never 9.30 even if I was first there). Anyone actually turning up "on time" or a little late could expect to wait 2 hours or longer.

The NHS, while generally a wonderful institution, sometimes gets things badly wrong.


I suppose they can only manage at all if they have all the patients lined up so that there is never a delay due to a patient running late. When I took my mother for appointments for a broken bone we had a lot of waiting to do, but I could see the staff working swiftly and with hardly time to breathe. my Mum was having a cast put on when a mother came in carrying a young boy with a fracture. The person treating my Mum asked if we wouldn't mind waiting while he dealt with the boy, who was in great pain. We urged him to deal the the boy. I hated the queues and waiting, but I loved the staff.

Re: Appointments

Posted: 7 Jun 2017, 5:07pm
by pwa
iandriver wrote:Had a first appointment a few years ago. Turned out the doctor was doing ward rounds first and that overran by 45 minutes. Bang goes the whole days schedule.


Probably for him / her too. You don't really know what they had to deal with before they got to you.

Re: Appointments

Posted: 7 Jun 2017, 5:12pm
by toontra
pwa wrote:
toontra wrote:I had a series of appointments with a consultant at my local hospital. Always at 9.30am. I gradually realised that everyone with an appointment for that particular clinic was told to turn up at 9.30 and that it was effectively first-come-first-serve. So I started arriving 15 or 20 minutes early and would be seen around 9.45 (never 9.30 even if I was first there). Anyone actually turning up "on time" or a little late could expect to wait 2 hours or longer.

The NHS, while generally a wonderful institution, sometimes gets things badly wrong.


I suppose they can only manage at all if they have all the patients lined up so that there is never a delay due to a patient running late. When I took my mother for appointments for a broken bone we had a lot of waiting to do, but I could see the staff working swiftly and with hardly time to breathe. my Mum was having a cast put on when a mother came in carrying a young boy with a fracture. The person treating my Mum asked if we wouldn't mind waiting while he dealt with the boy, who was in great pain. We urged him to deal the the boy. I hated the queues and waiting, but I loved the staff.


I'm sure that's the reason given. This particular clinic was routine, non-urgent monitoring and I can't think the consultant was often called away for emergency stuff. The appointments were made in the expectancy, no actually, the certain knowledge, that everyone would be in for a wait, and the unlucky ones for a very long wait indeed.

As Mick says, that is treating patient's time with distain.

Re: Appointments

Posted: 7 Jun 2017, 5:20pm
by al_yrpal
As a quack or nurse what do you do if you get a patient who has an unexpected serious time consuming condition or extreme anxiety and needs a bit more of your time? As a caring professional you give that time and expect following attendees to realise that human beings aren't robots who are absolutely predictable. A bit of understanding and compassion might not go amiss.

Al

Re: Appointments

Posted: 7 Jun 2017, 5:37pm
by fausto copy
Coincidentally :mrgreen: I had an appointment at the dentists this morning for 10:00.
I arrived 10 minutes early to find the only parking space was a 30 minute slot.
Sat in the waiting room for over 25 minutes, 15 of which were after the previous patient had left and the dentist and assistant were presumably enjoying a coffee.
All this time I'd noticed an old magazine that I knew had an article in I wanted to read, but thought I didn't have time for.
So, the obvious thing to do was pick up the mag, put specs on and open said magazine.
Of course it worked, my name got called immediately. :lol:
Receptionist kept me waiting for ages while she told someone on the phone about her forthcoming trip to Glastonbury. :roll:
Thankfully, hadn't got a ticket when I came out.

What really gets me are the notices stating that there will be a £60 charge for missed or cancelled appointments, while they've cancelled a couple of mine at the last minute and haven't offered me anything. :evil:

Another good one was at the audiology clinic when they kept calling a chap's name, whose hearing aids had both broke. :?

Re: Appointments

Posted: 7 Jun 2017, 5:47pm
by toontra
al_yrpal wrote:As a quack or nurse what do you do if you get a patient who has an unexpected serious time consuming condition or extreme anxiety and needs a bit more of your time? As a caring professional you give that time and expect following attendees to realise that human beings aren't robots who are absolutely predictable. A bit of understanding and compassion might not go amiss.


Agreed, but the situation I describe wasn't "unexpected" - on the contrary it was "absolutely predictable".

Re: Appointments

Posted: 7 Jun 2017, 6:53pm
by reohn2
al_yrpal wrote:As a quack or nurse what do you do if you get a patient who has an unexpected serious time consuming condition or extreme anxiety and needs a bit more of your time? As a caring professional you give that time and expect following attendees to realise that human beings aren't robots who are absolutely predictable. A bit of understanding and compassion might not go amiss.

Al

I agree.
We rarely have a problem and try get to appointments 20minutes early if possible.

Re: Appointments

Posted: 7 Jun 2017, 7:28pm
by Psamathe
When you have expensive specialists with more patients than time, or expensive equipment with more people needing to use it than there are time slots then you have to make sure you use those expensive over-stretched resources to maximum effect. NHS knows for different types of appointments they see certain levels of "no show".

To ensure that somebody e.g. held-up in traffic for 5 mins does not cause those expensive limited resources to be wasted it seems sensible to schedule so patients have to sometimes wait a bit, ensure that patients are always ready and waiting for the services.

I don't know the treatment you were seeking but many departments provide urgent services for more than just pre-booked outpatients and necessarily on an un-booked/un-scheduled basis e.g. somebody in A&E because they've had a fall and need an X-ray to check for fractures - you don't send them home and send them a letter telling them to come for an appointment in 3 weeks and you don't have expensive equipment and technicians sitting around "just in case". You fit them in and non-urgent people have to wait.

Given how stretched the NHS is I'm surprised that after just 20 minutes you are complaining and walking out. Probably a good job most patients are more concerned about getting the help they seek rather than "my time is a valuable as ..." attitude.

Ian