A LIMERICKMAN was shocked to receive an appointment for a hospital in Limerick and be told to arrive 15 minutes early - when the appointment was apparently scheduled for Christmas day, 2021.
The patient, Victor Brown, from Clonlara, contacted the Ray Dâ€™Arcy show on Today FM this Wednesday morning, sending them a copy of the erroneous letter.
The letter was sent to him this Monday, advising him to bring a urine sample with him on arrival at the hospital, and any medications that he is currently taking.
Victor said he was â€œlivid when he looked at the date on the letter, which didnâ€™t even have a consultantâ€™s name on itâ€, and found it â€œa bit ridiculousâ€ that such a letter could be sent to a patient.
While long waits for appointments can be expected in many hospitals, the local man was incredulous that his appointment in St Johnâ€™s hospital would take more than eight years.
He described the letter as â€œinsensitive and carelessâ€, but also saw the humorous side to the case, joking that heâ€™d have to maintain a fast on Christmas day in case it was correct.
However, a spokesperson for the hospital has explained that the glitch was down to â€œsimple human errorâ€ and has apologised for the incident.
â€œThe patientâ€™s out-patient clinic appointment referral was placed in a â€œsuspenseâ€ file on the hospitalâ€™s computer system pending consultant review and unfortunately this information, instead of the appropriate letter of acknowledgement, was issued to the patient on Tuesday 18 June. We will be apologising to the patient for this simple human error.
â€œSt Johnâ€™s wishes to re-assure all patients that we currently meet the national target of no patient waiting longer than 12 months for an out-patient appointment.â€ They expect the real appointment will be made in the next few months.