"14 to 18 month wait from seeing my GP to receiving treatment"
About: Telford referral and quality service (TRAQS) Telford referral and quality service (TRAQS) TF7 4BF
Posted by Syphon419 (as ),
Let me say at the outset that everyone to whom I have spoken, face-to-face or on the telephone, at Dawley Medical Practice (DMP), at TRAQS, at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, Oswestry (RJ&AH) and at the Princess Royal Hospital, Telford (PRH) has been courteous, kind, understanding, sympathetic, helpful and willing to do the best for me. I also fully accept and understand that the first priority for medical practitioners is the seeing of patients and not the writing and disseminating of reports and recommendations for further action, and that the production of such reports etc takes time. I also believe that, in general, everybody has taken the appropriate action as soon as the relevant information has been received. Nevertheless, the end result for me is that there will have been an interval of 14 to 18 months between my telling my GP of the increased severity of my symptoms and my receiving any treatment for them, which seems to me to be excessive.
I therefore make the following comments, in the hope that administrative procedures and protocols may be examined and possibly refined so that in future patients may not have to wait quite so long for treatment:
a. It seems a pity that GPs in the Telford area cannot refer patients direct to a hospital where they have already been seen, been given tests such as x-rays or MRI scans, had the condition diagnosed and treated and where, presumably, there may still be records of such events. For me this protocol has meant that I attended a clinic at PRH which I could otherwise have expected to attend at least a year previously.
b. I wonder whether there was some confusion in the administration/communication in the initial referral from DMP to TRAQS after January 2013, because I had not only been offered but had even attended an appointment at the Urology Clinic, for which I had also been referred at the same time, some 4 weeks before TRAQS wrote to me offering an appointment at RJ&AH, which was also after I had made enquiries at DMP about the length of time I could expect to wait to hear about an appointment.
c. It seems unsatisfactory that the protocol in the Oswestry area does not also obtain in the Telford area, so that, as in this case, what appears to be a routine request by RJ&AH for a GP to refer a patient for an MRI scan in the Oswestry area lies outwith the protocols in the Telford area.
d It also seems unfortunate that the letter from DMP to RJ&AH advising them of this inability was not noted and actioned before I attended the clinic in Oswestry in June 2013. Had someone read the letter and noted that a procedure that had been requested to be carried out before attendance at a clinic could not be arranged elsewhere perhaps RJ&AH might have arranged the scan themselves – as they did subsequently – before my attendance at a clinic, thereby avoiding not merely a comparative waste of my morning but more importantly would have allowed the Consultant to devote the time spent on a comparatively fruitless session with another patient, and might have reduced the time before I did see her when she had fuller information after the MRI scan, as well as saving the NHS money.
e I have to wonder why DMP, when they realised they could not refer me direct to the Radiology Department at PRH as requested in the letter of referral from RJ&AH dated October 2013, did not refer me straight back to RJ&AH as requested in that same letter. Had they done so I might have received treatment earlier. This further highlights the unsatisfactory nature of the difference between protocols within neighbouring areas.
I iterate that what appear to me to be unnecessarily complicated systems of administrative procedures and protocols has led to a delay of between 14 and 18 months before I shall have received any treatment, during which time my symptoms have progressively worsened, severely limiting my ability fully to enjoy holidays in the summer and at Christmas of 2013, when I might have expected treatment before the spring of 2013.
I would be grateful for your comments.