In response to your article on failed appointments (HT, April 29), I question the reasons behind those statistics.

I am writing again to publicise the failures inherent in NHS communication and investigative systems.

I recently received a letter five days after the due date. Ironically, the envelope advertised the cost of not turning up.

How many times have internal systems within the hospital delayed communications, supplies of drugs or equipment, causing wasted time and created stress for staff and patients? What analysis of problems is there?

In 2019, I struggled to get a complaint addressed – about appointment letters. It was only fully dealt with months later after a management reorganisation.


Covid Track and Trace is an acknowledged failure and remedial action is long overdue. I questioned NHS England’s approach to vaccinations in failing to understand local networks – even before Covid.

I raised the matter of duplicated letters with Healthwatch about my own experience over flu. It was not only interference, it wasted patients’ and staff ’s time to deal with the confusion: stress undermines health.

With the Covid vaccination roll-out, the local service, extra staff and volunteers were excellently managed; the dual service with different systems caused confusion again. Covid has highlighted the difference between effective changes in administration and those flawed by careless misjudgement or worse.

I treasure those working primarily for social good and collaboratively, regardless of profit. I see no evidence that competition creates better service and every evidence that government must learn that efficiency depends on local people responding promptly to local needs

I hope I can encourage others to put thoughts into writing. It helps to be positive. Our MPs need to know the reality for 99% of the rest of us.

Barbara Ferris


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