"Referral delays"

About: London

(as a relative),

My parents are in their 70s and still work very hard in paid jobs and also helping to look after their grandchildren. In recent months they have had 3 delayed/not sent referrals for urgent specialist care.

Most recently my dad chased a referral that was supposed to be made 3 weeks for acute back pain that had not responded to first line medication and is now so severe that my dad is finding walking difficult and has had to take sick leave. He was told that there had 'been a mix-up' and no referral had been made. There was no apology and no returned call from the Practice Manager as promised.

On each of the occasions there has been no apology or explanation as to why my parents have been left suffering without the prospect of receiving treatment. I work in the NHS and fully understand the pressure that the system is under but I fail to see how repeat problems like this cannot be addressed firstly with an apology and explanation and then by proper consideration of the system faults that cause errors to be made like and finally for the actions taken on these issues to be fed back to patients.

We all know that the NHS does amazing work but when we treat people like this we are still failing them.

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