" Waiting to get on the waiting list!"

About: King George Hospital / Rheumatology

(as the patient),

I had a fall and damaged my hip. My GP referred me to the Rheumatology at King Georges Hospital, Redbridge Greater London.

Saw the Rheumatology dept in April 2006, needed more assessment and x- rays but really got the impression from the rheumatology dept that at 40 was too young for a hip replacement and if the hospital could fob you off and expect you to manage the pain that would be their preferred option. Late June new appointment - Canceled by dept, August new appointment - then canceled by dept, Sept new appointment - then canceled, November, December, January 2007 get to see the pattern?

Finally early march 2007 see the specialist - come back next month to meet the team, guess what? yes it was canceled and the specialist team only meet once a month.

Finally in April 2007 exactly one year to the day I get to see the specialist who says "yes you need a hip replacement - we'll book you in and the waiting list is approx. 6 months"

What really annoys me is that government and administrators tell you things are getting better. Unless you experience these shortcomings then they are not. When you complain in writing to the trust chief executive i was driected to the 'Patient Satisfaction Team'! If I was satisfied then I would not be complaining so therefore, it should be the 'Patient Dissatisfaction team'.

PALS, not once did they return my calls! 7 times I phoned them each time I got the same male voice saying how busy they were and please leave a message on their answerphone.

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Responses

Response from

Repeated cancellations are a real problem in the NHS. As well as the obvious inconvenience and worry to patients it also makes us at Patient Opinion wonder about some of the statistics that come out of the NHS. We don't need more targets, but it would be good to be able to see the proportion of patients cancelled at each major site for each major specialty.

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