Furious at a total debacle!

Just wanted to share the debacle that I’ve had!

I saw my GP on Monday 12th May, I wasn’t really concerned, but had been in some considerable pain in my left breast for over a couple of months and there seemed to be a lot of lumps that were not usually there.

She examined me and said “yes, you are very lumpy, and given your family history and the pain and age ( I’m 39 ) I will refer you to the breast clinic to be on the safe side, you should get an appointment within 2 weeks”… her words! ( My sister was dx with Grade 3 breast cancer at 40years old )

So, I get a letter on the Saturday 17th May, from the GP, informing me that I need to call them to get my password and reference number so I can book my own appointment! This threw me slightly as I was unaware of this new system and had just been expecting a letter with an appointment, not to have to make my own!
Anyway, they are shut Saturday, so I call Monday 19th May, and get my details.

Then I call the Choose and Book service to book my appointment. The lady at C and B starts to book me for the next day, Tuesday - she actually said “what time can you come in tomorrow?” and then she says "oh, you have to go the the Women’s Hospital clinic and we can’t book them through here you need to ring this number…

I then call this number…A lady answers and tells me I’ve got through to the HIV clinic. She kindly tries to find the correct number for me for the breast clinic but says her directory is old and a lot of the numbers in it are out of date…so she puts me through to the hospital main switchboard. They then put me through to the breast clinic who say I’ve got the wrong department and tell me I need to speak to a lady called Rachel who does the bookings at the hospital. I call this lady, Rachel, and she says yes, she is the lady who books the appointments for the Women’s hospital clinic, but she cant book them direct with the patient. She says Choose and Book are wrong and that they cal her to book the apps. I call Choose and Book back, and they disagree with what Rachel has said and say they can’t do the booking and that I have to ring the number I had tried earlier, which had put me through to the HIV clinic. So, I call Rachel again but cant get through. I then call my GP surgery and speak to the secretary who says she will call and see whats going on and call me back. I wait an hour. Nothing. So I call the GP secretary again, but she tells me they are busy so she hasn’t even tried calling for me yet but will later on. So I try Rachel at the hospital a few more times and finally get through. She then puts me on hold and then next thing I know I’m speaking to a girl who insists that the number I had got through to the HIV clinic on is the one shes on, and that I can’t have called because shes been there all day!!! She then books my appointment and says Friday the 23rd at 1p.m, and I say “that’s fine, where is it at?” and she says “its at the Women’s hospital but I will send a letter with all the details on”. So, I turn up on Friday 23rd, early, for my appointment to find everyone going for lunch and that there are no appointments for that day!!

So, they then call Rachel, because I’ve said that I spoke to her and that it’s she who put me through to the person who booked me in. Then the clinic lady says that Rachel was told by C and B that I was a routine referral, and its probably been booked for the 23rd June. I say my GP said I d be seen within 2 weeks. So the clinic lady refers this to Rachel on the telephone, who says that there’s been a cancellation, so they book me in for the 4th June.

And here we are!!! I am angry that I seem to have been totally messed around. I’ve been stressed and worried about my appointment, and now I have to wait almost another 2 weeks. I am confused as my GP stated to my face that I would be seen within 2 weeks, yet my referral was marked as routine and booked for 6 weeks away! I come under the NICE guidelines as an urgent referral due to my age, symptoms, family history etc…so I m totally confused, I don’t know if I’m urgent or not.

Has anyone else had problems like this?

Wow!What a runaround you have had and thank goodness you have an appointment.I feel you ought to be able to complain to someone.What about your hospital PALS?I just hope that everything is ok in the end.Love Valxx

What a nightmare, its bad enough when this happens when you’re trying to sort your gas bill but something as important as this is ridiculous.

My referral was urgent and my first appt came through just over a week later, not bad for Easter week so I was pleased. It all went tits up [pardon the pun] at this and the next three appts but thats a long story and we got there in the end. At least I was in the system and not trying to sort out my own appt.

I hope everything goes more smoothly from here on and that the news, when you eventually get it, is good.


Oh Jo what a palava. Im pleased you finally got sorted out. Even I got confused reading it!!!

Good luck with your appointment

Yvonne xx

I am with you on the incompotence side! First of all my doctor said I had no lump, I went back again and she refused to examine me, I had to go to emdocs and low and behold there was a lump. Doctor makes me an appoinment choose and book. I phone up to double check it and guess what they have had it cancelled! I say ok make me a new one, sorry we have no appointments left! I phone breast clinic and luckily they feel sorry for me and give me an earlier one!

I go for my clinic appointment and the lady needle sticks herself during the core biopsy! Has a panic attack! I then found out yesterday after being told the core biopsy was benign that actually they didnt get sufficient samples! I was also not told I need wireless bra etc etc before hospital only found out hours before and then I asked them today about how long blah blah and they said has a breast care nurse not been in touch then…er no! oh and when I went to have my breast marked the day before the op, the radiographer kept saying which one is it, I am like what there is more than one!!! In the end she got the orginal lady in and she found the one! so yes I know what you mean, its bad enough having the stress of a lump but when you have to put up with bloody incompetence, and stupid doctors who cant find the lump its very worrying and distressing!


A very good example of how the new “improved” system is far more stressful on the suffering patient. What happens with those people who are not able to make constant telephone calls or cannot even use a phone!

I am at the opposite end from you My doctors etc have been fantastic from seeing my doctor(appointment same day i called) through my op and now chemo its been 6 weeks the waiting has been stressful enough with that time but I feel so sorry for you I cant imagine the worry you have but stick to your guns and call and call till you get what you want dont give up its not them that has to sit there and worry I even said to one doctor have you been through this he said no and I said well dont tell me not to worry until you go through this you cant know how i feel he then booked my appoinment earlier go for the sympathy vote if you dont get anywhere even tears if you can use everything you have after all your the most important person right now and no one is going to stop you

dont wait you have a right to be seen within 2 weeks from your initial gp appointment, i would go back to the gp and ask for a different hospital maybe in a neighbouring county (i think you know have the right to do this) i think its appalling the different standards in different areas. i went to gp thurs was seen at hospital 8 days later, results a week after that!

So sorry to hear that you had such a run around to get an appointment. Stress like that is the last thing you need at this time. I was very lucky all the way through my treatment - both on the private and NHS side. I hope things improve and that you get a good clear result at the end of it.

When I went to my GP on the 22nd Dec last year with my lump, he got on his computer and made the appointment there and then for me for the 2nd Jan.He printed in off and gave me a password so if I wanted to change it,I could.
I don’t know if this should be the practice everywhere or just in my city of Liverpool.
Alli x

HI I come under St Helens and Knowsley and again had appointment within a week


Hi same good procedure in Northampton. The breast clinic at the hospital is called the Two Week Clinic.

I just wanted to thank you all for your comments and kind wishes. It certainly seems to be something of a lottery when it comes how we are dealt with by our GPs and appointment allocations! I’m so glad some of you at least have been treated as I feel we all should. The waiting is so very difficult, and we really all should be seen within 2 weeks! Also I have to say that with something as worrying as this, that it should be the case that the GP books an appointment right there and then in surgery. Incidentally, one of the nurses I spoke to at the breast clinic last week said that they were all fed up with Choose and Book and that it was a bad system!

I will let you know how I get on next week, and in the mean time I send my warmest wishes to everyone . :slight_smile:

Choose and book its the pits! My choose and book appointment was cancelled! But nobody admits who did it! And then they told me they had no more appointments!!! Thank god the clinic were much more on the ball otherwise god knows what would have happened!

Good luck Jojo, I know how you feel, as next Weds I will get the results from my surgery as to whether it was just a lump or infact cancer.