A cancer patient said she was left flabbergasted after ringing the DGH to chase up a rescheduled appointment only to be told her consultant had retired.
Sylvia Richardson said the hospital, based in Kings Drive, had ‘surpassed’ itself following the incident.
The Polegate resident said she received a letter on November 25 informing her that her scheduled appointment for January 27 had been cancelled and that she would be contacted shortly with an alternative date and time.
However, after six weeks she had heard nothing more from the hospital so decided to call them and chase up her appointment.
The 76-year-old said, “As by January 3 I had no news and I telephoned the hospital.
“After a complicated series of transfers I eventually spoke to someone who informed me that my consultant had retired and had not been replaced!
“After asking ‘what happens now’? I was casually informed ‘We haven’t got anybody so that’s it!’
“Unfortunately I was so flabbergasted that I didn’t ask who I was speaking to.”
Mrs Richardson, of Brown Jack Avenue, added, “I have a cancer-related condition and am disgusted and alarmed that there is no communication or information and a completely lackadaisical attitude to patient care.”
In response Maureen Blunden, general manager of Planned Medicine and Adult Outpatient Services, said, “The consultant who was due to see Mrs Richardson for her yearly follow-up appointment has recently left the trust, and we have been unable to replace him due to a national shortage of consultants in this particular specialty.
“We are working to overcome this issue by using locum staff and looking at different ways of providing the service and will be writing to all patients with further information in the near future.”