The Department of Health press office was mysteriously not answering the phones the day the BMA revealed that 92 per cent of GPs had voted in favour of the directed enhanced service on extended hours. It took HSJ journalists a bind boggling 13 minutes to get through. Perhaps they were busy toasting a victory over the medical profession.
We know Hampshire PCT is the biggest in the country, but does it really take its press office over a week to move offices? We only ask because when HSJ called on 29 February to ask their press office to respond to an accusation put to us by a reliable source we were told they couldn’t take our call because they were "moving offices". Imagine the news desk's surprise when it called back over a week later to be told exactly the same thing. Just how big is this PCT, exactly?
A target for sexual health clinics to see 95 per cent of its patients within 48 hours may be being missed by one particular hospital because the signs to its clinic are so bad patients can't find their way there. And they are too embarrassed to ask for directions. While 97 per cent of patients were offered appointments within 48 hours at Bury St Edmunds hospital's genito-urinary medicine clinic in January, only 74 per cent of them got there within that time. Non-executive director Jim Greenwood told the hospital's board meeting: "I've had comments passed on to me that the signs to this department are not very good and the reluctance of people to ask for this particular department may be contributing to that." Director of operations Gwen Nuttall said signs giving clearer instructions had been ordered.