"Good Staff, Abysmal Processes"

Anything else?

Firstly to say the nurses are great, as are the other staff. However, the process by which things are organised is completely terrible. I had a wide excision of a pilonidal sinus about 2 weeks ago. I was told on waking up that I would need daily dressings. I phone my local GP, they don't do them, and was told to use Crawley Hospital Planned Treatment. I contacted them and they said they didn't have any appointments for ~2 weeks... so I have an operation, and need dressings, yet they can't see me for 2 weeks... madness. The only suggestion was going every day to the UTC and waiting... not really a viable option. Eventually I pay to have dressings done privately for those 2 weeks. A few days ago I finally have my first NHS appointment. I arrive and am told that they don't have a budget for dressings so I have to go get a prescription from my GP for them.... seriously?! You have a department which I have been specifically sent to to have dressings done and they don't have any budget for dressings!? Thankfully they have a few spares so can dress the wound that day. They kindly fax the GP, it takes 2 days to get a prescription, then of course there aren't any in stock in the pharmacist... another 2 days to wait. Really, what kind of backwards system is this? The nurses are great, but whoever designed the process needs to take their blindfold off. It does not work. At all. Period. Did the GP tell me I'd need a prescription for dressings? No. Did the Planned Treatment center tell me when I booked the appointments, 2 weeks ago? Sadly, No (had they done so I could probably have got the dressings given how long it took to actually see them). Is there any obvious literature about the process and how it works. Not really no. All in all a complete organisational disaster. A center which someone is sent to to do dressings should have all the equipment to do dressings, and a full budget for them, and not make the patient acquire them after showing up, with a turn around of 4+ days (and should actually have sufficient appointments in the first place). It's a shame because the staff there are really nice and the nurses good, they're just being crippled by abysmal infrastructure and process. It's like saying "I'm running a pub, but in order to have a drink in it you need to go to an off license 50 miles away and buy the beer yourself, then we'll open it for you and you can sit at our tables, but not yet, in 4 day time, when your beer's got warm and you have to be at work instead". It's not like the NHS even saves anything by making me get my own dressings as I prepay up front for prescriptions. Someone covers the cost of dressings up the line somewhere. Shuffling the cost around doesn't change that it does get paid. All it's doing is making it far more difficult and inconvenient for patients.

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Response from Nick Fairclough, Head of Marketing, Communications & Intelligence, Sussex Community NHS Trust We have made a change

I'm sorry to hear that you had a poor experience of care. It seems that the process was frustrating and also very complicated with a number of agencies involved. Please contact our service experience team (Tel: 01273 242292 Email: sc-tr.serviceexperience@nhs.net) so we can explore with you our contribution to this process and in greater detail.

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