Editorial Comment

Telephone Booking Systems


Recently I have had cause to book appointments for Podiatry, Retinal Screening and an Expert Patient Scheme. A member of my family has also been trying to book an out patients follow up appointment. Each time we have made a call we have been faced with a stone wall.

Firstly there is the number itself. Is it ‘free’ line or not. Is it a ‘premium’ line?

Secondly is it an answering machine – Do you need to leave a message?

Thirdly, are you in a queue? How long do you have to wait to speak to a ‘human being’?

The conclusion I came to was ‘ís it any wonder that patients give up then fail to make an appointment and fail to cancel an appointment.

Comments to


Robert Campbell

By Robert Campbell<br><img src="" alt="Robert Campbell" class="avatar" width='50' height='50'/>

Started work writing medical cards in 1966 at Staffordshire Executive Council. Have worked at Inner London Executive Council, Hertfordshire Executive Council, Lambeth Southwark and Lewisham FPC, Birmingham FPC, Dudley FPC and Wakefield FPC and Family Health Services Authority. I was seconded to the NHS Appeals Unit and have worked as a full time GP practice manager since 1992 until 2010. I was also an AMSPAR trainer at Park Lane College, Leeds. Now I work as a freelance author.

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