"Was not contacted about a missed appointment"

About: Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust Telford referral and quality service (TRAQS)

(as a service user),

I haven’t been able to answer all the questions overleaf as some aren't relevant to my experience.

Here is my story:

I attended the GP on in April with an infected ingrown toenail. I had already seen the nurse twice and had been given antibiotics. My GP gave me more antibiotics and asked if I would like to be referred. When I asked how long it might be before I got an appointment he said he thought it would be about 4 weeks but if I wanted to be seen sooner I could consider going private. He suggested contacting a few podiatrists and that I could get names and numbers off the internet. I asked what would happen with my referral if I went private and he just said tell TRAQS when my appointment came through that I didn't need it anymore.

I rang a few podiatrists but quickly realised that I probably couldn't afford private treatment so decided to wait for my NHS appointment. I then received a letter from TRAQS in early May confirming that they had passed the GP’s referral to Shropshire Community Podiatry service who would contact me in due course when they were able to offer me a date and time.

They also said to contact them (TRAQS) if I hadn't heard anything for 8-10 weeks. I hadn't heard anything after this time so contacted TRAQS. On checking their systems they said that an appointment had been booked for me on, I think, early June at Donnington Health Centre.

I can honestly say that I had not been contacted by phone or letter about this appointment which I had by this time missed.

The person I was speaking to at TRAQS was really nice and helpful but warned me that as I had missed the appointment my GP may have to refer me again. However, she offered to try and sort it out and get back to me.

The TRAQS person got back to me very quickly and offered me an appointment in July at Donnington Health Centre. I wasn't offered a choice of hospitals/health centre or dates, I accepted the appointment as it was convenient for me.

The appointment itself, when it came round, was fine. I was seen on time and was not rushed I felt I had been given a good service. My follow up appointment was booked there and then by the podiatrist.

Some of the questions in the leaflet you sent are unclear. How can the service be recommended when you don’t actually have a choice of whether or not to use it? Even if you don’t have a positive experience, you can’t really recommend an alternative, as that alternative is to go private which has to be paid for!

I’m also not clear on you last question – which service are you referring to – GP, TRAQS, Podiatry or the service as a whole? In any case, I don’t think many people know what to expect and don’t have any specific expectations except to get their problems sorted out and this is a hope rather than an expectation!

Sorry to go on, but I hope my contribution has been helpful.

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Responses

Response from Helen Handy, TRAQS & CAB Co-Ordinator, Telford and Wrekin CCG

Dear Quartz366

Thank you for your full explanation of your recent experience.

TRAQS pass on podiatry referrals to the Community Podiatry service (if they are not suitable for any other provider). The Community Podiatry Service contact patients by letter with an appointment at a local clinic. I am sorry that you did not receive the appointment letter they sent out but happy that the TRAQS team were able to arrange for another appointment to be sent out to you after speaking to the Community Podiatry team.

Some patients recommend a Community Service/Hospital to their friend or relatives and when TRAQS contact the patient they ask if they can be seen at their Choice of provider.

Some patient choose to travel further for an appointment at another hospital if they don't want to be seen at a local hospital.

Thank you again for sharing your experience with the TRAQS team.

I hope that you are feeling the benefits of the treatment.

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