Friday, 13 November 2009

The Dreaded Receptionist

Had to take my mother to a hastily-arranged hospital appointment today.

Excellent service in most ways:

Rapid appointment (she's become poorly quite quickly and needed to be seen; we were seen in a clinic with three days).

Excellent doctor (good communication skills, excellent bedside manner, quickly found the problem and outlined solutions).

Prescribed medication and then asked us to come back in three weeks.

Then - of course - we encountered the Receptionist. Where do they find these people? Is there some sort of factory turning out middle aged women with stern faces, an inability to concentrate on you rather than their friend standing next to them and a default option that you can't have something?

No, we can't have an appointment three weeks today. No, nor in the days around it. No nor four weeks today. Well, you have an appointment anyway, for next May! Yes, we knew that; this was for something else. Well, we'll have to call the doctor's secretary on Monday. My name? Why would you want my name? Ad infinitum.

We now have the promise of an appointment on Friday 4 December 2009. Notwithstanding the telephone call on Monday. I'll keep you posted.


  1. That is typical: maybe a short note to your MP might be in order, along the lines of it being all very well to promise speedy service to punters, but that the ancillary staff need to be informed as well!

  2. Postscript: I've just rung the receptionist who tried unsuccessfully to deflect my call as she'd "not sorted out the Doctor's appointments for that day", which seemed at odds with "but he's very heavily booked that day".

    I persevered though and we now have an appointment for the following week instead. But at least it *is* an appointment and a bird in the hand and all that.......

    We have to deal with the GP's practice later. That'll be fun. Not.

  3. Appointment with GP now arranged, too. First available appointment? Tuesday 1 December. Rubbish, isn't it?