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Appointments policy

As an advice charity, we try to do the best that we can to provide a high quality service to as many clients as possible. Our service is always in high demand and many people in Herefordshire need our help.  An important part of our service is to advise some people by appointment. Often this is not necessary, as we may be able to provide advice and information by phone or email which will help you resolve your problems.

However, some people need an appointment to discuss their problem in detail. Our service is provided by both volunteers and staff who try to do the best that they can to help clients with their problems.

When people miss appointments without giving us notice, it can have a serious impact on the service because that appointment slot is unfilled. This reduces the number of people that we can see and prevents us from helping more people. For that reason, we have the following policy to deal with appointment problems.


If you are going to be late for your appointment

If you’re going to be late, please call us on 01432 270 536 as soon as you can. If we’re not available, please leave a message as these are checked regularly.

1 – 10 minutes late

Please let us know as soon as you can that you’re going to be slightly late – we’ll try to keep your appointment open so that you’re still seen by an adviser.

10 – 15 minutes late

If you arrive more that 10 minutes late it may be that the adviser can’t help you because they may be helping other clients. It will depend very much on the circumstances of that particular day.

More than 15 minutes late

If you arrive more that 15 minutes late we’ll have assumed that you were not going to attend your appointment. Also, because the adviser who was due to see you will be helping other clients, it is unlikely that we’ll be able to advise you and you’ll need to return on another day.


If you cannot attend your appointment

If you’re note able to come to your appointment, please call us on 01432 270 536 as soon as you can. If we’re not available, please leave a message as these are checked regularly. This will allow us to give your “slot” to someone else.

If it is your first cancelled appointment then we’ll try and give you another appointment as soon as possible.

If you miss ONE appointment

We understand that life can be complicated and that unforeseen circumstances do arise.

If you’re going to miss a single appointment please let us know and we’ll try to reschedule another one as soon as we can.

Please note that we’re so busy that it could be several weeks before another appointment is available. This is one of the reasons that we advise all clients to attend their appointments, especially if their problem is urgent.

If you don’t contact us to let us know that you’re not going to attend, we’ll note this on our computer system and assume that you no longer need our help.

If you miss TWO OR MORE appointments

If you’ve already missed one appointment we hope that you’ll make every effort to attend a second appointment. If you fail to attend your second appointment then we’ll assume that you no longer need our help.

Unless there are exceptional circumstances, if you contact us again, it is unlikely that we’ll be able to offer you another appointment. You’d need to access our telephone or email services again. Alternatively, you might find it more convenient to seek advice from another organisation.

If you miss THREE OR MORE appointments, or continually refuse our advice

If you consistently fail to attend our appointments, or if you continually ignore the advice that we have given, then we may exclude you from our service. This will only be done in the most serious of circumstances and we will always notify you in writing if we intend to do this.


If WE need to change your appointment

We make every effort to ensure that you are seen when your appointment is scheduled. However there are occasions when we may need to reschedule your appointment because a volunteer or member of staff is ill, or due to circumstances beyond our control.

If we need to change your appointment we will:

Contact you as soon as we become aware of the problem. We’ll always try to telephone you to let you know that there’s a problem. This is why it is so important to leave us a telephone number or an alternative way of getting a message to you.

If we can’t reach you by telephone, we’ll leave a voicemail explaining that there is a problem, with a request that you contact us on 01432 270 536 to rearrange your appointment.

If we haven’t heard from you by the end of the day, and if there is enough notice, we’ll also send you a letter to tell you that we need to change your appointment. However, in some instances this may not be possible, as the problem may have arisen at very short notice for example, if a volunteer has called in sick that morning.

If we need to reschedule, we’ll try to offer you another appointment at the same location, or somewhere else if your problem is really urgent.

We appreciate that your problem may be very urgent and that you may have nowhere else to turn to – for that reason we apologise for any inconvenience that rescheduling your appointment causes you.


Comments, suggestions and complaints

If you have any kind of feedback about our service or our appointments policy, we want to hear it. Sometimes you may be very happy with the service. Sometimes you may not be happy or you may be very unhappy with our service. However, unless you tell us, it is often difficult for us to know.

If you have any comments, suggestions or complaints, then please let us know. You can find out more about this on our feedback and complaints page.


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