Cancelling appointments — Scope | Disability forum
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Cancelling appointments

Biblioklept Community member Posts: 4,180 Disability Gamechanger
I had a hospital appointment I couldn't face going to yesterday but was unable to cancel or let them know because phones.

I wonder with all the missed appointments the NHS complain of (understandably!! don't get me wrong I know they're a problem especialyl with how long waiting lists are) but I can't help but wonder if they would be massively reduced if they made it easier to cancel an appointment.

My GP you used to be able to use their app and cancel the appointment but then they changed it to you could only do that 24 hours in advance and then removed online booking/cancelling altogether.

But with my hospital appointments there's no way to change or rearrange or cancel without calling, which I'm unable to do.
I feel terribly guilty wasting their time and when I sat and watched my phone ring as they tried to call me that guilt only got worse as I wasted even more people's time :( 

Anyone else have this problem??


  • Sandy_123
    Sandy_123 Scope Member Posts: 43,585 Disability Gamechanger
    I usually get a text message from the hospital and a link to follow if I need to cancel, so can cancel that way. Does your borough not do that option
  • Lou67
    Lou67 Community member Posts: 5,849 Disability Gamechanger

    Good morning I hope you’re doing well.Trying not feel guilty as it wasn’t possible for you to answer the phone.

    I always get a text to like Sandy, then you can just follow the link and cancel. That’s a shame you don’t receive them.

  • Biblioklept
    Biblioklept Community member Posts: 4,180 Disability Gamechanger
    Sandy_123 said:
    I usually get a text message from the hospital and a link to follow if I need to cancel, so can cancel that way. Does your borough not do that option
    Nope, that would be so handy if they did. 
  • Biblioklept
    Biblioklept Community member Posts: 4,180 Disability Gamechanger
    I've got a long awaited, medically necessary, GP appointment tomorrow. I've been building myself up for weeks to go there and got a message to say it's been changed to a telephone appointment. 

    So now I can't have the appointment, I also can't cancel the appointment so it's wasted and could have gone to someone else, and have no proper way book another :unamused:
  • Beaver79
    Beaver79 Community member, Scope Member Posts: 15,112 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Biblioklept Could you go into your GP's surgery and explain to the receptionist that you cannot have telephone appointments. I hope you manage to sort this out. Take care.
  • Sandy_123
    Sandy_123 Scope Member Posts: 43,585 Disability Gamechanger
  • OverlyAnxious
    OverlyAnxious Community member Posts: 2,555 Disability Gamechanger
    You probably won't be surprised to hear that I have (or rather 'had') the same problem.

    I have only ever had one hospital appointment, back in 2019.  The cause of that was the complete lack of understanding through the GP surgery!  I specifically asked for 'remote advice' by written letter, stating that I could not use phones or attend the surgery, and was hoping for a letter or email in response. 

    A few weeks later I received a letter for a hospital appointment!  I had no way to cancel it as it was phone-only, and the letter even had a guilt-trip line on it about wasted appointments costing the NHS £60 a time.  

    I did a lot of research into it, and found that the room I had to go to was right near the carpark and well away from places like A&E where there would be a lot of activity and visual triggers.  I made myself really physically ill trying to get to the hospital on the day.  Arrived 5 minutes late, and was then told they were running about an hour late and I'd have to come back.  Somehow I manged to wait outside in a small garden area and then go back in but couldn't really speak let alone explain multiple issues working against each other (as written on the letter I'd initially sent), so no suitable advice was offered, and the report from that afterwards suggested a telephone appointment for 3 months time, again completely misunderstanding the situation, obviously I couldn't answer it so got discharged from the service.

    Overall a horrendous ordeal and one that considerably knocked the progress I had been making with agoraphobia, OCD and social situations.  Massively regret going through with it.

    Almost 10 years earlier a similar thing happened with the mental health services.  I lived rurally at the time and couldn't travel into town to access their centre.  Tried to meet half way at a local medical centre but that wasn't a massive success.  And after the first appointment, I was then moved onto telephone appointments instead, which of course I could not answer, and was discharged from their service.

    Now, I don't expect the general public to be aware that not everyone can speak.  We live in a society where that is the norm for the vast majority of people.  However, I am genuinely shocked that the health services, and particularly mental services, don't seem to have any understanding of this!  I've basically now been told (through written letter) that they would only be able to help if I became well enough to travel and speak...things I have struggled with my whole life, and things that have now become totally impossible over the last couple of years. 

    Sorry for the massive rant, but I always get treated as I'm the only one that can't speak or can't use phones, but being a member of this forum for the past few years has shown me that it's not all that uncommon after all!


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