Vasculitis UK
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Hi all, just thought I,d brighten a dull day with a dull bit of info, Last year I had my Rhuemy appointment cancelled and re scheduled 5 times making a 6month appointment a 1 year appointment,one appointment was changed twice ( by 2 letters ) on the same day. so I decided I would contact the hospital PALS dept to complain , I then had it re scheduled twice more and eventually landed up with an appointment 1month BEFORE the original one that was cancelled !!!.Yesterday I recieved my 2nd cancellation for this year and re scheduled , making my 6month appointment ( at the moment ,as it could easily be cancelled again ) a 11month appointment. Luckily I do have the option to ring the clinic nurse if I needed to ,and no doubt I would be "dealt with" as required. However it can be most disconcerting to be " messed about " in this way. The irony of it is , that all the letters state ( they are pre printed ) that should the patient cancel an appointment more than once, you would need to go back to your GP to start all over again.I did say it was dull , but I suppose you do have to laugh.

9 Replies

I suppose the worst bit is that you have to laugh or you would cry wouldn't you? It is appalling - and it is because of the cost-saving concept of centralised booking. It didn't happen in the days where the consultant's secretary deal with it all. Unfortunately I remember that. And when a consultant could bring in a colleague to advise - unlike today where you have to go back to your GP and start all over again...

I'm so glad we've retired and fled the country...


My husband has been waiting for an appointment for an operation which should have been sent thro by now. When I telephoned, they just offered him a date only 4 wks away. Maybe you just have to keep on and they shut you up by dealing with it.


Regarding appointments, I have been waiting for an appointment re. radiotherapy or an operation for a basal cell carcinoma. I had a phone call last Tues to go for the appt on Friday (letter in the post) which I did attend. The letter giving me the appt came on Sat morning! But I do sympathise with you, Jackrussell, its certainly not good enough. How about contacting your MP?


At present, there seems to be something very odd going on with the NHS appointments system and drawing attention to this might help to bring about change. It is of course nonsense to suggest that your consultant is not able to discuss your case with another consultant who has more knowledge & experience. This can be done formally by means of tertiary referral, or, as is more commonly the situation, though a simple telephone call or on-line case-conference. There is a vasculitis clinical network which is actively encouraged and supported by the NHS.


That wasn't what I said John - you were stopped from referring sideways within the system without going via the PCP. It may have changed again and if so I stand corrected but at one time if you saw one consultant and s/he decided it wasn't their field/wasn't what was suspected or however you want to put it you had to go back to the GP to ask for referral. Discussing things with someone else has always been possible - but many consultants won't do it.

It isn't just the NHS appointments system where there is something odd going on but this is not the place to talk about it.


Thankyou for the replies ,seems appointments are all over the place, I often wonder John why I can,t be seen by someone else ,as I know there is another consultant in clinic that deals with Vasculitis. On a good day I do chase it up, but we don,t always feel like having the usual " battle ".My Rhuemy was most insistant that I don,t cancel an appointment even if I feel well,I do wonder whether it is the consultants problem or the " system".I do go to Addenbrookes and until recently The Royal Free and I have never had an appoinment changed with them.


"I often wonder John why I can,t be seen by someone else ,as I know there is another consultant in clinic that deals with Vasculitis."

I'm lucky, in that I'm under a great consultant and team. On the rare occasions when someone's not cooperating, I've found that playing dumb can help, along with being a bit cheeky. e.g. In your situation, instead of trying to jump through the hoops again, I'd speak to the consultant informally. If I saw them in the corridor I'd ask them if they were the person that deals with Vasculitis and also how do I get an appointment with them. Tell them you've been trying to get a referral, but haven't had any luck.

It may not work, but it can't do any harm :)


I refer all to a recent post I made regarding appointment cancellations. In my case I contacted the secretary of the consultant and had the appointment brought forward close to the original one. It would appear that the changes are driven by the appointments team and not by the clinic/consultant you attend. I too, attend the Royal Free and visit various clinics in regards my condition as does my wife and in all cases it was not the clinics fault but that fell to the appointments team who are, on occasion, on a different planet it seems.

The patient records system has been changed recently to a more computerised one and it has been having a few hiccups in the change. At least the nurses no longer have to lug around heavy paper files anymore. Having said that, in future, if you have an appointment time extended beyond that which you reasonably expect then contact the secretaries in the first instance to have it changed. Most are very helpful.


Yew you have made me laugh-especially after the trouble that I had getting an appointment , to have teeth removed. I won't bore you with it, suffice to say it makes your 'problems' seem pedestrian!

Thanks again, for the giggle.



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