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"Appointment cancellation when 5mins late"

About: The Alfred / The Heart Centre

(as a service user),

I traveled 1hr to the Alfred for an echo. My friend also had their Cystic Fibrosis Clinic scheduled to start at the same time.

We were held up at the car park which, in my experience, can often be the case and assumed I had allowed enough buffer time.

I accidentally went to the 2nd floor before recalling cardio was LVL three.

I arrived at the reception desk (exactly 5mins late) to be told the letter stated that later than 5 mins would result in a cancellation and I would need to come back two days later.

The rescheduled letter also states this 5min rule clearly.

The SMS reminder says 15mins early but no such thing re: late.

While I understand the need to try to get people to adhere for everyone's sake, in my experience there appears to be zero room flexibility to account for anyone with a chronic illness doing their best, let alone two chronic people (one looking after the other).

5minutes to the second and I couldn't be taken care of and very disappointed. I felt it was evident I was breathless and had done my very best to make up time walking. 

I've been attending the Alfred for over 10 years regularly and 99% have been on time or early and have never felt so cut off.

(I too have cystic fibrosis, was listed for a lung transplant in a year and a half ago but thanks to new medication via compassionate access was able to come off and have been doing well).

Letter text

Please attend the Heart Centre Reception 10 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time. If you are more than 5 minutes late for your appointment you will need to be rescheduled, so as not to delay other patients.

Please note that onsite parking is minimal, fills quickly and takes -15min walk to the Heart Centre. We, therefore, recommend taking public transport. The 72 am stops directly in front of the Alfred Hospital.

Do you have any questions? Do you need to cancel this appointment or arrange another time? If so, please contact us:

- Call [number provided] between 8:30am - 5:00pm Monday.

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