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Thatcham resident calls Royal Mail service ‘disastrous’ after hospital appointment letters ‘stuck in the postal system’

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Not receiving letters has meant some residents have had to take their mail matters into their own hands, from visiting sorting offices to pick up post to managing their own appointments and bookings.

Thatcham resident Dorothy Le-Cornu hasn’t been receiving her mail on time since mid-December and hasn’t received any post since Christmas Eve.

After complaining to Thatcham sorting office on December 18, she managed to acquire an important hospital appointment letter, which she says she would have otherwise missed.

Newbury and Thatcham Delivery Offices have reported staff sicknesses.
Newbury and Thatcham Delivery Offices have reported staff sicknesses.

After making the first hospital appointment she then didn’t receive a second, more important letter - and it still hasn’t arrived.

She said: “When my post was held up, I phoned and complained. I had six or eight letters and one of those in there was, fortunately, for a hospital appointment but it had been stuck in the postal system.

“It’s a disaster.”

Upon almost missing the first letter, she requested that the hospital phone her for a future appointment, just in case.

She said: “Today I was waiting for an appointment for a scan.

“Lucky today the hospital phoned me to give me that appointment. But otherwise god only knows when I would have got it through the Royal Mail system.”

She added: “I said to [the hospital] could I ask that you do phone me and let me know the appointment because otherwise, the post around here we just don’t seem to get.”

She said she feels for those who didn’t make similar requests to their hospitals and missed their appointments altogether.

"It is quite worrying that you have got to go through to those lengths to make sure that they phone you with an appointment rather than through the postal service," she added.

“I know most stuff that hospitals send out is always 2nd class but you would not expect it to arrive a day after an appointment like other people found.”

Royal Mail's customer service staff have said however there simply are not “enough boots on the ground” at the moment.

After returning to work on December 29, staff operated for three days and the service is now “back to some resemblance of normality”.

However, Newbury’s delivery office, on Cheap Street, reported sickness absences on January 4 and was therefore “unable to cope with, and manage, all the walks”.

On December 30 and 31, Thatcham’s delivery office reported “the same issues as Newbury”.

A statement issued by Royal Mail said: “The vast majority of mail is delivered safely and on time.

“We aim to deliver to all addresses we have mail for, six days a week.”

However, the postal service also said: “In the local area, we have been experiencing some delays to service due to high levels of sickness absence.

“We would like to apologise to this customer for any inconvenience he may have experienced.

“We have been working hard to get our levels of service back to normal as soon as possible and the situation is improving.”

For any further delivery concerns, contact the Royal Mail customer service team on 03457 740740 or visit www.royalmail.com

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