"Dissatisfied with long waiting times at royal orthopaedic hospital "

About: Royal Orthopaedic Hospital Worcestershire PCT

(as the patient),

I consulted my GP in January as I had developed pains/weakness in my legs. This is as a result of a fall which I had a year previously. I had pain in my right knee which was diagnosed as arthritis (without any tests and in my opinions was just an assumption due to my age at the time, which was 54).

I then treated myself via the health shop as I wasn't offered any effective pain relief. That was during the year before I saw the GP about the current problem. Then the pain started in my legs. The GP thought I had Polymyalgia Rheumatica but a blood test ruled this out. After further discussion he thought I may have a Lumbar Stenosis and referred me to a local hospital.

I saw the specialist physiotherapist there and he sent me for an MRI scan. After the scan a month went by and I hadn't heard anything I telephoned the physiotherapist's secretary. She said that the physiotherapist and a specialist from a hospital further a field meet once a month to decide which patients need referring on. I was referred on and then had a CT scan and a Nuclear Bone Scan which were both ordered by the new specialist.

The last scan was at the end of june and I have heard nothing since. I phoned the secretary and she said the specialist has been on holiday for a month and I said doesn't anyone take over his patients while he is away and she said no, they don't.

It has been seven months since my first appointment about this problem with my GP. I have fallen well outside the 18 weeks time frame which is supposed to exist between seeing the GP and having treatment. I wrote to my GP to let him know (his part in the proceedings has been perfectly satisfactory) and a different GP phoned me (my GP is on holiday so someone else takes over his work while he is away). He said that if I try to go elsewhere I will go to the back of the queue so I really have no choice but to wait. Also the hospital is not convenient for where I live and there are quite a few other hospitals nearer to where I live.

All in all I am very dissatisfied.

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