" It’s now a year since my last appointment and I’m still in pain"

About: Ayr Hospital / Trauma & orthopaedics

(as the patient),

I missed my appointment at the rheumatology clinic because I was not well. I now find that my new appointment will not be until August, I feel there will be little point in going then when my symptoms will be better due to the higher atmospheric pressure. I really need to be seen during the winter when the cold and low pressure affects me.

I sometimes wonder if the surgeons are hearing what I’m telling them. The orthopedic surgeon gave me a disclaimer and would not listen to me, he was not interested in looking at CT scans or x-rays. I need to know a) whether I can have an operation and b) what is the cause of the problems I’m having and how can it be fixed.

I need to know whether I am able to fix these problems and if not I who can?

I have three conditions which are all coming together and affecting me – a slowly deteriorating hip joint; a nerve problem and bursitis – all separate, independent issues but all coming together in one leg.

This is not a complaint, I need to understand and be seen quicker. It’s now a year since my last appointment and I’m still in pain, except when the weather is warm and pleasant. It seems that I’m always seen when I am having a good spell and don’t seem to be seen in cold weather when my condition is not good

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Responses

Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

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Dear Cross780,

Can I say how irritating this must be? I am sorry you are in such pain and experiencing the difficulties with your leg. There are so many questions unanswered for you. I do not know if this is the first appointment to rheumatology but I suspect the Orthopaedic Consultant may need to know the outcome of your rheumatology appointment before a treatment plan can be developed for you. (Although this may be letting them off lightly).

I have been involved in referral pathways in the past and it does seem the process here is a bit bureaucratic but the appointments for follow-up clinics are very much in the future due to the volume of patients.

Also, apparently, some GPs still refer to a named Consultant in rheumatology and it seems you can’t switch Consultants for an earlier appointment which is unfortunate. I also know that some services have moved away from named consultant referrals which can help reduce waiting times.

Having said that, there are a couple of things I think can be done which may get you an earlier appointment.

The appointment officer was very helpful when I spoke to her. She said that sometimes there are cancellations and she would be happy if you phone - 01563 – 827070 between 8.30 am and 7.30 pm to get you the next cancellation (every day if that what it takes). It will be helpful if you can tell her what your CHI number is (this is a 10 digit number and should be on any letter from us), is it a review or new patient appointment and which Consultant were you referred to.

Alternatively, if you email me with the details (CHI number etc.) I will speak to the appointments officer on your behalf. My personal email address is eunice.goodwin@aapct.scot.nhs.uk or phone 01563 826222.

Ideally, if we can get you an appointment soon, the Rheumatologist and the Orthopaedic Consultant should be able to come up with the plan that best suits your condition whether this requires further tests or not.

I do hope this is helpful. I will also pass this to the Managers of the service for their consideration.

Kind regards,

Eunice

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Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

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Dear Cross708,

I passed your post to the managers of the respective services and I have been asked if you would give us your CHI number. This is the 10 digit number made up of your date of birth followed by 4 other numbers and m,akes it your unique number. If you would like to give me this off-line either by phone or email, this wil help the manager to look into the situation.

Meantime, as said previously, please feel free to call the appointment officer to try to get a cancellation - 01563 – 827070 between 8.30 am and 7.30 pm.

My personal email address is eunice.goodwin@aapct.scot.nhs.uk or phone 01563 826222.

Kind regards,

Eunice

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