"Constant game of ping-pong between the GP and the gynaecology department"

About: Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh at Little France / Gynaecology

(as a relative),

Constant game of ping-pong between the GP - who has been very good - and the gynaecology department at RIE - lasting for over a year.

It took ten months to get a diagnosis for my mum (aged 85, suffering from post-menopausal bleeding). Had to wait four weeks for every test and four weeks for the consultant to answer every letter sent by the GP.

At last, they want to see her. GP sends a fax to the consultant and her secretary asking for an appointment in early February. I call the appointments desk today and there is no record of any pending appointment.

Have been trying to call the secretary all day but no-one is picking up.

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Responses

Response from Dougie Brownlie, Patient Advice and Support Service (PASS) Marketing Officer, Citizens Advice Scotland

picture of Dougie Brownlie

Hi mallory,

I have seen your post and noticed that there hadn’t been a response as yet by the NHS. I thought I would let you know about the Patient Advice and Support Service (PASS) which is an independent service which provides free, accessible and confidential information, advice and support to patients, their carers and families about NHS healthcare in Scotland.

You can access this service from any citizens advice bureau in Scotland by going to a bureau in person, or by telephone. The number is in the phone book. You can find more information about the service at www.patientadvicescotland.org.uk

We have specialist advisers in every health board area in Scotland and who will give advice on health related issues including the policies relating to administrative issues. If required, a specialist adviser can meet you and work with you to draft a written letter to the relevant NHS area which will then raise this issue with the NHS.

Hope this helps

Dougie Brownlie

PASS Marketing Officer

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Update posted by mallory (a relative)

Thank you. That's the sort of information that people don't tell you. The saga is ongoing and about to reach a conclusion. I've got the patient notes and will eventually compile a case history.

The situation is further complicated by the fact that I live in Europe and I'm the only family my mum has got.

Response from Craig White, Divisional Clinical Lead, Directorate of Health Quality and Strategy, Scottish Government

picture of Craig White

Dear Mallory

I was very concerned to note today that some of your postings through Patient Opinion to colleagues at NHS Lothian have not received a response - please accept my apologies for this. I have discussed these failures to respond with senior management at NHS Lothian today, making it clear that I do not believe that this is acceptable given the time that you have taken to outline your various questions and concerns.

I have also offered colleagues support and guidance on how they improve, underlining our policy commitments to ensure that patient experience is given the highest possible priority. We want to support NHS Boards across the country to demonstrate this in their actions. I will monitor this closely.

Kind regards,

Professor Craig White

Divisional Clinical Lead, The Quality Unit

Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates

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Update posted by mallory (a relative)

Sorry, but this response looks a bit like a load of flannel. My mum is now dying. Okay, I know she's 85, had a good innings, but three people messed up in the gynaecolgical department of ERI while every other department (cystology, oncology) acted immediately. This is saying to me that something is wrong with the ethos or policy in this department. Please take up contact with me personally. This response is far too vague to give me any satisfaction. It verges on an insult.

Response from Craig White, Divisional Clinical Lead, Directorate of Health Quality and Strategy, Scottish Government

picture of Craig White

Dear Mallory

I am very sorry that you experienced my comments about the fact that you should have received a response from NHS Lothian as an insult.

The website doesn't allow me the option to make personal contact, though following dialogue with the Director of Patient Opinion, Scotland I now have the email address you have provided and will make contact with you immediately.

Craig

Professor Craig A White

Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates

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Response from Stuart Wilson, Director of Communications and Public Affairs, NHS Lothian

Dear Mallory,

Let me first of all apologise for the length of time it has taken for NHS Lothian to respond to your concerns. Let me also apologise that you have complaints about the care offered to your Mum as that is certainly not the way we seek to care for patients and falls well short of what we would expect.

In order for us to investigate your complaints thoroughly can I please ask that you either contact me directly on stuart.wilson3@nhs.net or via our feedback team on craft@nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk

That way you will receive an acknowledgement of your issues within three working days and a full response to them within 20 working days.

Yours sincerely,

Stuart Wilson

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Update posted by mallory (a relative)

Thank you. I will indeed be in touch very soon. I have drawn up a dossier and a time chart. Still have to fill in a few gaps. My mum is now in the Western General (not ERI), where I have to say the attention and care up till now has been excellent. I am flying across today so things are a bit hectic.

Updates, changes and questions related to this story