Posted by John Brock
I have been treated for cancer over the past 4 years, mainly at The Royal Surrey hospital in Guildford, and I have been very content with my treatment. For convenience of travel I also see the consultant at his clinic in Crawley Hospital and in that there is a problem. The arrangement for appointments to see the consultant is perfectly OK, but to arrange a CT scan the week before, so they have the result when I visit the clinic is always a problem, which has been further exacerbated by a new computer system. Instead of speaking to a human being the arrangement is now to put you through to voice mail service, with the instruction that they will get back to you as soon as possible. After several calls over many days the recording said that the voice mail box was now full and no more messages could be left. In frustration I attended the hospital in person and with the help of a useful receptionist and the consultants secretary I was able to make the appointment for the CT scan, 2 weeks before my visit to them today. Over the years I have had a lot of chemotherapy and many operations including 3 sessions of RFA(radio frequency ablation) of my lungs, at UCL. I am now clear of cancer for the time being, but 3 months ago I had a scan and the consultant radiologist detected tumours on my lungs, which after the doctor consulted the previous scan discovered that they were scars from the RFA. Today at the clinic I was given the same report by them, but this time he was frustrated because the previous scan was not available to him for him to compare and therefore he could not say positively that the shadows are not cancer, and therefore I have another appointment to see him in 2 weeks in the hope that the previous scan will be available to him then. All of this is a waste of clinical time as well as mine and I am left not knowing if the cancer is in my lungs or not. It's about time someone got a hold of management to ensure that the clinical professionals have the the tools available to satisfy the demands of their calling.