THE ACCESS NUMBER

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: The Imaginarium
Why does it have to be so complicated?

Submitted: May 13, 2019

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Submitted: May 13, 2019

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I received a letter from the NHS today informing me of a hospital appointment in June, which unfortunately coincides with a pre-booked holiday. The letter went on to explain that if I needed to change my appointment or cancel it, I could simply go on line to the specifiied website, or call the telephone number detailed in the letter. Easy!

My first port of call was the website, which I gave up on after numerous attempts to open. No worries, I thought. I'll give them a call instead.

When I finally get through it was, of course, to an automated voice telling me to have my NHS number, the Hospital Referral Unit number and my 'Access Number' to hand. After consulting the letter, I found two out of the three numbers, but there was no mention of an Access Number, so I waited on the line to speak to a human being.

How can I help you today,” said a chirpy chappy eventually.

I explained the scenario, and the fact that there was no 'Access Number' on the letter.

Oh, that will be the referral number issued by your doctor,” chirpy chappy explained.

Okay, but I don't have the referral number.”

Well you will have to contact your GP for it and come back to me.”

But can't you just change the appointment date?” I ask.

Sorry madam, I need the referral number to process your request.”

But you have my name, address, hospital and NHS number isn't that enough information to enable you to change the appointment?”

Sorry madam. As I said, I need the access number to process your request.”

With mounting frustration, I contact my GP surgery. “A what?” the receptionist asks.

An Access Number,” I repeat, slow and exaggerated.

Oh, I'll just put you through to the office.”

After another prolonged wait, I am informed that the office staff are on their lunch break and to call back later.

Half an hour later, I finally get through to the friendly voice of an office administrator at the surgery. “Access Number?” She repeats, putting me on hold to consult a colleague.

I think you mean the password.” She says, sounding more confident.

He definitely said I need the Access Number,” I stress.

Another consultation takes place with her colleague. “Oh, apparently the Access Number and the password are the same thing,” she finally assures me.

Okay, so what is it?” I ask through gritted teeth.

Armed with all the numbers I need, I eventually get to lodge my request for an alternative appointment.

I am not in the least surprised that hospital appointments are missed if these are the hoops we are expected to jump through just to cancel or change an appointment. Grrrr! Words fail me. 

Thanks for listening, felt the need to vent!

 

 


© Copyright 2019 Sue Harris. All rights reserved.

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