"5 month wait, still no diagnosis"

About: Royal Preston Hospital

I was referred to a locum consultant gastroenterologist in this department in January 2014 by my GP. Despite my GP marking the referral as urgent I didn't get a first appointment until March; the one I was originally given in February was cancelled at the very last minute. I've been told that I might have Crohn's but haven't had any kind of diagnosis yet. Since then I have had an endoscopy and MRI scan. 2 months after the endoscopy and 1 month after the MRI I haven't heard anything at all from the consultant. I have been in contact with staff who have given conflicting stories, telling me at first that radiology hadn't given them the results yet when I called, nearly a month after the scan. I contacted radiology and was told that they sent the results to the consultant on the very same day that I had the MRI. When I informed gastroenterology of this they told me that actually the doctor did have them but hadn't looked at them yet, and that he hadn't had a secretary for a long time. I can see from previous reviews that others have had a very similar experience. It has now been 21 weeks since my referral, so they are past the 18 week target for treatment to start. I've been told it will probably be another 2 weeks before I even get a letter sent out, let alone an appointment. In the meantime the pain has got a lot worse, I can hardly eat anything and I get woken up by the pain every couple of hours during the night and end up not fit to do anything in the morning. The pain is becoming unbearable and I haven't even been given anything to relieve it during this wait. My university work and attendance have suffered because of this, and I don't even have a diagnosis to explain it. I'm also scared that whatever illness I have may have progressed since my referral and if the pain continues like this I'll have no choice but to turn up at A&E again. I'm looking into the possibility of being transferred to an outpatients department in a different hospital as the 'care' here has been non-existant. I would advise any potential patients not to use this service if they have an alternative.

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Responses

Response from Rhona Hartley, Head of Patient Experience and Customer Care, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for your communication. Please accept our apologies for the delays you have experienced. Can I suggest that you contact the PALS department on 01772 522972 who will do their best to help you deal with this matter.

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Response from Royal Preston Hospital

Thank you for your feedback. Please accept our apologies for your experience. Can I ask you to contact our PALS department, who will be pleased to work on your behalf to resolve the issues you have raised.

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