"Laparoscopic hysterectomy referral"

I found I had to chase Benenden constantly to get my referral. On the 20th November I was told they were only dealing with post recieved on the 12th (good job its not life or death) but they could not proceed unless I gave them the hospital codes for my op. I had done this and it took them a further 3 days to convert the codes to private ones, before sending my notes to Kent. I was told I would hear from Kent in 2 weeks and my op would be done within 8 weeks, but on the 3rd week I phoned the member services as I hadnt heard anything. They gave me the number for Kent who couldnt find my notes as they had been given to the medical team the week before but now couldn't be found. Eventually they phoned me and gave me an appointment 3 weeks later. The surgeon clearly hadn't read my notes other than laparoscopic hysterectomy. He offered me surgery but I had to tell him what I was meant to be having done as he seemed unaware it was a total hysterectomy and offered me a sub total. he also said I would stay in overnight and go home the next day. I went to the nurse for pre op assessment but she never tested my urine sample, just took blood pressure, weight and heart rate, along with MRSA swabs. I was sent to appointments who told me the earliest they could do the pre op tests was mid January and the earliest op date was mid February, well outside the 8 week contract. I was told to phone the customer care line. I did this and after 30 minutes they said they knew they were in breach of contract but basically tough. She also admitted it was unfortunate that Kent had lost my notes in the first place. When I said 'the reason I paid was to get faster treatment' she said 'we are a non profit making organisation and your funds help others get treatment'............ I don't pay for others, I pay in the event I need treatment!! So the upshot is I have paid in for 10 years, paid fuel costs to go for my appointment and will have to pay 2 more lots of fuel costs before I get treatment. I also need to take more time off work to attend these appointments and will have waited the 4 months from start to finish that the NHS quoted me anyway. The big question is will I get the operation I should have had on the NHS or the half operation the surgeon was planning on doing? After all once under anaesthetic, I won't have much say and when I wake up it will be too late. I am seriously worried now and this is not how I should feel. The whole episode has been a complete and utter nightmare and extremely stressful.

Story from NHS Choices

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