Well this week has been testing to say the least. The administrative staff at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital have surpassed any previously high level of incompetence to reach the summit of Mount Totally Fucking Shit.
Last Saturday I received a new appointment letter for late July with a new doctor in the Dermatology department. Now this was confusing, I already had an appointment booked for Wednesday.
Due to this confusion I rang Dermatology for clarification on why I had two appointments with two different doctors, one of whom I had never met. I was quickly told it would be because my appointment on Wednesday was cancelled, but Jackie did not know why nor why I had an appointment with a doctor I had never met……….. Oh Joy. I was informed that Jackie would be looking into this and would be in contact the next day, which in the Gregorian calendar was a Tuesday.
By complete coincidence I had an appointment with the Chelsea and Westminster Rheumatology department, albeit off campus in Westminster. I arrived at my appointment promptly and sat waiting, 45 minutes passed before the receptionist came to me. She asked if me if I knew who had referred me, as my GP had no record and she did not have a referral letter. I told her that it would have come from a Dr in the Dermatology department and gave her a very abridged version of my tale as a explanation.
The receptionist spent the next 15 minutes trying to find out from the Dermatology department what was going on and where my letter was. So that was that I could not have my appointment.
I was seething and told the receptionist not to worry I would go there myself to sort it out.
I spent the 15 minutes walk to Victoria fighting back tears as I spoke to Dad on the phone to try and compose myself, by the time my tube came I was calm, collected and ready to assassinate any member of the dermatology administrative team who blocked me.
I got to the hospital tout suite, well that isn’t entirely true I popped to Starbucks (other coffee shops are available, probably with better coffee), I had a feeling I could be waiting around and knew beverages were going to be required.
I got to the department, still waiting for a member of the admin team to call me back following my conversation on Monday, and asked to collect a referral letter and speak to the head of the admin team for Dermatology. The gormless dingbat, who I have had the arduous task of dealing with far too much for my liking, took a few minutes but seem to have understood the sentences he had heard and promptly picked up the phone. Nope, scratch that he didn’t understand at all. I had to explain my problem to another member of staff who could manage a conversation and interact with more that one human at a time.
I took a seat to wait to see who I would be presented with to discuss my case and the failings of the dermatology department. I was greeted by Steve the head of admin for the Rheumatology department, hang on I hear you say but that is not who you asked to see, I KNOW. Apparently Jackie the head of admin for Dermatology was unavailable, and she wasn’t unavailable because she was returning my call either. I’m still waiting for that one.
For his worth, Steve was very understand and in truth shocked at the treatment I have received within the Dermatology department, but as I said to him at the start of the conversation, it really wasn’t his fault or area, my first dealings with his department was this morning. But he pressed the phone monkey on reception to find out by who and why my Wednesday appointment was cancelled and moved, which he did actually manage to do in little over 10 minutes, a miraculous event that still astounds me.
Steve has also followed this up yesterday, chasing the relevant people to get me a new Rheumatology appointment and answers from the Dermatology team, and has promised to report daily to me until there is at least an immediate resolution, and so far he has. So pat on the back Steve you are a good lad, Jackie you can burn in a pot of boiling piss.