"Long wait for surgery"

About: Raigmore Hospital / Trauma & orthopaedics

(as a relative),

Husband should have been selected to have his hip operation this Month (March) by Raigmore. Now breaching his waiting time guarantee. Were offered to have it done in Glasgow but staff could not give us any information apart from being very negative and saying that if anything went wrong he could not go back to them.

Called today to be told that lists are not made up for April yet and that there is no guarantee that he will be selected to go in during that month. Surely it is simple maths to decide how much capacity is needed to meet the demand required especially for those patients who are already breaching the target date.

Why have target dates if Raigmore cannot meet them? What assurance is that for patients whose lives are disrupted by having to deal with pain then wait and wait without any communication other than us having to continually call and check on the current status?

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

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Hi Agnes,

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 waiting times. 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.

If you would like their help, an adviser can meet you and explain the NHS complaints procedure, and work with you to write a letter or make phone calls to the NHS if you decide to do this. The advisers can also support you if you are asked to attend a meeting with the NHS.

Hope this helps

Dougie Brownlie

PASS Marketing Officer

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Response from Maimie Thompson, Head of Public Relations and Engagement, Chief Executive's Office, NHS Highland

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Dear Agnes Moffat

I am very sorry to hear of the delays your husband has had over hip operation and unsatisfactory communications. If you would like to drop me a line or phone me then I can get some more information, apologise in person and get your views on how we can improve our communications. I have recently been involved in preparing patient information on hip replacement and having sought views from patients I am well aware of the disruption and upset any delays cause.

I would also like to apologise that there has been a breakdown in communications over our delayed response. Our policy, is to respond, in real time as possible (one of the many great benefits of Patient Opinion) and I am sure we did post a response – so I will check that out. So very grateful to PASS for also posting a response and also of their offer of support. NHS Highland actively promotes PASS and Patient Opinion as further ways to help people have a voice.

But if you get in touch I will also make sure we learn from you. You can call me on 01463 704722 or email me on maimie.thompson@nhs.net

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