"waiting forever"

About: Derriford Hospital / Colorectal surgery

(as the patient),

At the end of October I had a consultation as an outpatient in the Colorectal department. The consultant's name was given but was not present at the consultation.

Towards the end of November I had a colonoscopy. I understood that I would be contacted within three weeks to arrange an appointment to discuss the results of the colonoscopy.

In the first half of December I I telephoned to find out why I had not been contacted. Apparently, the pathology results were still not available. I was given no information about when I would be contacted. I expressed my annoyance at this.

It's now 30 December, and I have still not been contacted.

This is not an acceptable way to treat anyone, yet alone someone who is sick and in need of medical help. I have been in pain and discomfort for many months, and suffered significant lack of sleep as a result. This makes life very challenging.

So far the NHS has failed me.

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Responses

Response from Genny Turner, Senior Quality Facilitator, Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust

Good afternoon,

Please would you be kind enough to give our PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service) Team a call on 01752 439884 or email plh-tr.PALS@nhs.net

The team will require some additional information from you then they will be able to chase this up for you.

Best wishes

Genny

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Update posted by jemand (the patient)

Thank you for the response

At first, it gave me some hope of progress soon.

I immediately contacted the PALS team, and I was told that someone would investigate why the Colorectal team at Derriford Hospital had not yet contacted me.

Another week has passed, and I have heard nothing from the PALS team or from Derriford Hospital with regard to a follow-up apointment.

This leaves me with the impression that nothing is being done about helping me get a diagnosis and treatment for my condition.

I am disappointed and annoyed, as well as being in a lot of discomfort, suffering lack of sleep because of pain day and night, day after day, and feeling tired and irritable.

I have heard that the NHS provides a fantastic service. Unfortunately, that has not been my experience yet. It is about time that changed.

This is a continuation of my response above;

More than a week after I first contacted the PALS team I still had not received any update.

Meanwhile, I managed to contact the colorectal team, and find out the name of the colorectal specialist with whom I had my consultation in October.

I contacted the PALS team again to enquire about the lack of any update. I also passed on the name of my consultant.

The next day, I received a response from the PALS team member assigned to investigate my case. I was told that the delay in responding to me was due to two days of leave. There was no explanation regarding the other four working days that had passed.

The PALS team member told me that a message had now been left for the secretary of my colorectal consultant.

Although I have not yet received any explanation for the delay in arranging a follow-up appointment to discuss test results and the next stage in diagnosing my condition, I have received a letter about a follow-up appointment.

That would be progress if it was not for the fact that the appointment clashes with another appointment I have at the same hospital.

It seems that whoever booked the new appointment did not look at the notes on the system about the length of my other appointment at the hospital on the same day.

I have contacted the hospital, and arranged a new appointment time.

I shall continue to persue an explanation for the very long delay in arranging this follow-up appointment.

Update posted by jemand (the patient)

I have contacted the hospital, and arranged a new appointment time.

The PALS team has still not contacted me with an explanation about the reason for Derriford Hospital failing to contact me. As the PALS team has failed to resolve this within a reasonable time, I have raised the matter with the NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group.