"Seventh month wait to see a consultant after a heart attack"

About: Crosshouse Hospital / Cardiology Scottish Ambulance Service / Patient Transport Service

(as the patient),

I had a heart attack at the end of June and was admitted to Crosshouse Hospital on a Friday night. I was kept in for the weekend and transferred to The Golden Jubilee Hospital on the Sunday evening. In Crosshouse I was seen by Dr. Chong. A stent was inserted on Monday evening and I was discharged from the Jubilee on Tuesday afternoon. The medical and nursing care (and food! ! ) in both hospitals was excellent.

This hasn't got to do with the subject of this story but it's worth noting: -

1) Neither the trolley which took me to the ambulance, nor the ambulance itself, had the facility to hold a drip. The nurse held the drip on the way to the ambulance and, in the ambulance, the drip was attached with a bent bit of wire to a rail above the window. Also, the ambulance was extremely cold and draughty and I had to constantly stop myself from sliding off the trolley. The "helpful" advice was not to worry, as they'd pick me up if I landed on the floor.

2) I don't think it is appropriate to discharge people from the Jubilee. My wife, who is not a confident driver these days, had to drive to Clydebank and back home again. If, in the name of efficiency, you are going to centralise services you should be prepared to transfer patients back home.

Shortly after getting home, I received a letter from Crosshouse saying that my interview with Dr. Chong would be on in October. Unfortunately, the day before, I received a phone call telling me that Dr. Chong was off ill and a letter would be sent confirming the new consultation date. This arrived last Friday telling me that the new date was at the end of Feb. 2015 - 7 months after my heart attack. I phoned the appointments number but was told there was nothing they could do. I asked if it was possible to be informed if there was a cancellation but was told that they couldn't do that. The only suggestion was that I phone each morning to see if there was a cancellation but I was told it was up to me. A rather curious suggestion in the circumstances.

This can't possibly be right. Obviously, following a heart attack, I have a number of concerns that I would like to discuss with my consultant. There are also outstanding test results, which I have been told my consultant will discuss with me. Surely I don't have to wait seven months to receive these results. There must be some way that I can see Dr. Chong in the next few weeks. Can you help?

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Responses

Response from Andrew Johnson, Communications Assistant, Corporate Affairs & Engagement, Scottish Ambulance Service

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Dear Lindon,

Thank you for contacting the Scottish Ambulance Service through Patient Opinion. I am sorry to hear that your experience with the us wasn’t as you would expect it to be.

We take all feedback, both positive and negative, seriously and use this to influence change in how we deliver care in future instances. If you would like to contact me with further details at ajohnson18@nhs.net I would be more than happy to look in to this aspect of your care for you.

Kind regards,

Andrew

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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 Lindon,

I am very sorry you had a heart attack and you had to have a stent. I do hope you are recovering well from it.

I am also sorry there were some areas of your care that have caused you concern.

Seven months is a very long time from your treatment and I think we need to explore some solution to get you your results and a chance to have your questions answered. Were you referred for cardiac rehab by any chance? I can’t promise anything but I promise to do my best. I will speak to the appropriate senior managers and I will come back to you. It may help if you could contact me by email - eunice.goodwin@aapct.scot.nhs.uk or phone on 01563 826222.

I know that calling in every day for a cancellation does not seem very helpful or patient centered. I would just like to explain why this is the way we work. It is in the best interest of fairness for all of those who are waiting. If a cancellation is made and there only 2 or 3 days until the appointment, if someone calls in they may well be offered that appointment because of the short time. If there is a longer time to the applointment slot, the next person who has waited the longest will be offered the appointment. If they can’t make it, it will be offered to the person who has waited the next longest and so on until the slot has been filled.

On a plus note, I am glad the food was good. I can assure you as a member of NHS staff for many years, in other roles and other areas, the food has not always been as good.

Thank you very much for contacting us, I will be back in touch very soon,

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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Dera Lindon,

I wanted to give you an update and to reassure you that I have not let this fall off the radar. I have been assured by your Consultant that next week he will be able to rearrange your February appointment.

I am sorry it has taken so long but hopefully you will get an appointment very soon and have your questions answered.

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 We have made a change

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Dear Lindon,

I am pleased to let you know that you have been sent a letter offering you an appointment to attend Mr Chong's clinic in December (this year). I am sorry it has taken so long but I do hope this is okay with you. I am sure you will have a list of questions for Dr Chong and equally sure he will answer every one as fully as you require.

Again, I would like to thank you for your feedback and I hope you have been keeping well.

Kind regards,

Eunice

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