I know full well, from the last time that they pulled this one (last autumn/winter, when my appointment carefully made for October ended up being delayed until February) that it is not in the hands of the Endocrinology Secretary – though when I went and sat there and refused to go away, she eventually came out, sorted it out, and then vanished again into a mysterious fastness – not open to the public, and I don’t blame her.
The system goes like this:
Outpatients’ Appointments has three people on duty at any given time, and when you have seen the doctor for whichever ailment you have (diabetes, heart, thyroid, hearing loss, and so on) you go to them and they see on their screen what the doctor you have seen has requested in the way of another appointment for you. You and they then find one which suits you, and they write you in to that date and time to see that doctor. Then you go home.
About three months later, or perhaps a little more, you get a letter from a central booking place in a different town and a different hospital, telling you that your appointment (date and time, at such and such a place, to see so and so) has been cancelled, and they will get in touch soon to give you a new appointment.
Some time in the next month or so, you will if you are lucky get a letter telling you when the new appointment is. (This time the two letters arrived almost at the same time, which makes me wonder why the frod they couldn’t send them in the same envelope.) If you are unlucky, as I was last time, you hear nothing, and go down to the hospital in person to find out what is going on – to be told that they can’t make you an appointment, because they have already done that.
If you are me, you then sit down on the floor in front of all the rest of the people queuing to make an appointment, and say gently but firmly that you need an appointment, you need to make it now, you will get Palpitations if you don’t sort this out at once, that you have nothing else to do that day, and that you have the local paper on speed-dial… Oh, and that the editor of Private Eye is a close personal friend. At that point the Secretary is fetched, and she sorts it out. Last time, it was for 8am and as a special fit-in.