"My wifes experience with the NHS"

About: Pembury Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as a relative),

A relative attended a GP practice twice (jan, feb) for severe pain and tingling in her limbs. the GP referred her to Maidstone and Tonbridge Wells NHS Trust and it took many weeks until the appointment - can't recall if this was within the required 18 weeks or not. However, when seen a referral for an MRI was required. We requested the scan at Pembury Hospital (part of the trust) which is much closer than Maidstone. After waiting a 8 days for the appointment letter, I called the consultants assistant to find out when we would get an appointment letter. I was told that the consultant had only that morning had the signed the piece of paper requesting the MRI. My relative has pins and needles, numbness and a lot of back pain, so this wasn't good news! But mistakes happen - and I assume this was a mistake, right? Moving on, the assistant was extremely helpful and marked the MRI referral as urgent (even though this wasn't on the referral). Now two days later I have called Pembury Hospital to confirm they have the referral. Sadly, the paper work (! ! ) hasn't arrived, but thankfully the electronic image of the referral (so I was led to believe) was available - but slightly unreadable! ! . Never the less, the MRI receptionist was most helpful and said she would print it out and give it to the superintendent today for prioritisation which would lead to an appointment date - apparently between 2 weeks and 6 weeks - depending on the superintendent's assessment of the referral. I was asked to wait and call back tomorrow to find out.

So, having first seen a GP in January, then again in February, and a consultant only 2 Saturdays ago and been told she probably has a prolapsed disc (by the GP and Consultant), there is still no scan to inform what treatment is appropriate. My personal estimate is that if the MRI takes 2 weeks to happen at best, followed by apparently some reporting time, then waiting time to see the consultant again and finally waiting time for treatment, it will not be until August/September at the earliest before the meaningful treatment is possible - all since (lets be generous, February)

My question to NHS England and Maidstone Trust: Why do we (Patients) have to wait sooooo lonnnnnng for meaningful treatment?

As things are still on-going I may make another entry.

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