"Patient Choice and funding"

About: Bedford Hospital South Wing / Clinical haematology NHS Bedfordshire CCG St Bartholomew's Hospital

(as the patient),

Some months ago, my GP diagnosed that I have M.E.. He did not suggest what help I could get. I was discussing my M.E. symptoms with my consultant haematologist and she said that she would write to my doctor and recommend he refer me to the M.E. referral service of my choice. I live in Bedfordshire, where there is no M E. clinic, and after careful research, decided that St Barts Hospital offered the most appropriate service for my symptoms.

My consultant wrote to my GP in November (2013). I heard nothing, so after three phone calls to my GP's secretary - the latest being last week - asking why my GP had not referred me, she said that he had just referred me to Bedfordshire M.E. Support Group. So it had taken him three months to get round to writing a letter. I said that I wanted to go to St Bart's and that I thought I had a choice. She said that funding would have to be applied for if I were to be referred there and that there wasn't any as "things were changing".

I have an appointment to see my GP next week and was wondering if anyone out there might be able to give me some reliable information about patient choice and funding.

Thank you

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Responses

Response from Communications Team, Bedford Hospital NHS Trust

Hello Slip,

In this instance you may wish to contact the PALS team at the Clinical Commissioning Group, as they may be best placed to advise on what is available, how to access community outreach clinics and how to apply for individual funding, etc.

Their telephone number is 01525 864405.

Kind Regards,

Ben Raza

Senior Communications Officer,

Bedford Hospital

ben.raza@bedfordhospital.nhs.uk

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Response from Peter Howard, Head of PALS, Complaints and FOI, NHS Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group

Dear Slip,

If you would like to contact our PALS line here at Bedfordshire CCG I am sure that we can assist you. Alternatively you may prefer to contact us by email at: PALS@bedfordshireccg.nhs.uk

Regards,

Peter A Howard F Inst L Ex

Head of PALS, Complaints and FOI

Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group

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Response from Peter Howard, Head of PALS, Complaints and FOI, NHS Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group We have made a change

Dear Slip,

Thank you for responding to my suggestion that you contact me directly. We have since spoken on the telephone. I also confirmed our discussion by email, in particular, that Bedfordshire CCG has a new service for patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. This will provide a fully integrated program including medical, psychological, informative and therapeutic input tailored to the individual.

We hope that it will enable patients to access an integrated program to provide holistic care.

I then spoke to the Practice manager at your GP surgery to request that he arrange an appropriate referral with your GP.

Please contact me again if you need further assistance.

Regards,

Peter A Howard F Inst L Ex

Head of PALS, Complaints and FOI

Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group

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