My daughter has been referred to a consultant dermatologist by our family doctor. So far so good. We received a letter from the practice saying that our illustrious Government has introduced a system whereby patient choice is paramount: we can choose where she is seen and make appointments to suit ourselves.


Despite being disappointed that somewhere exotic like the Maldives wasn’t included, we were given the choice of three hospitals: our local one (durr!) and two an hour or so each way away. So amazingly enough, we decided to book an appointment at our local hospital using the super-duper HealthSpace online booking system provided by NHS Connecting for Health:

“NHS Connecting for Health supports the NHS to deliver better, safer care to patients, via new computer systems and services, that link GPs and community services to hospitals.”

So we thought we’d have better care delivered to us and book online with the details we’d been sent. My wife started our Apple iMac, loaded Safari – the default browser for Macs – and went online only to be met with a message that that browser isn’t supported by HealthSpace. Oh dear…

Never mind, we’d use my PC instead. So I logged in, selected our local hospital from the three choices (actually I deselected the two hospitals that are nowhere near where we live) and entered a slightly later start date leaving the end date open.

Nothing. So I re-selected the other two hospitals and found three appointment slots in September – so much for choice. Back to our local one. I entered an end date for when my daughter is past her 100th birthday.

Nothing (see screenshot):
No Appointments Available - Ever!

So my wife rang the booking hotline – not our local hospital… – and after giving our details was told that he couldn’t make an appointment as he was locked out and we should call back in half an hour.

How pathetic is that?