About: Sunderland Royal Hospital Sunderland Royal Hospital Sunderland SR4 7TP
Being known to the GI services for the last 6 years it is with sadness that a family member is leaving their care. For most of the time the service has been very good but the last 6 months they have found it difficult to get a review when needed. Neither the consultant's secretary nor the gastro nurse have been helpful. A review appointment has never been longer than 3 months. It is now 6 months with a course of steroids ordered by GI services via a telephone conversation with GP plus 2 urgent iron transfusions and no review. The response is "I'll leave him a message, there's no appointment on the system" and "He's very busy" is unhelpful. The alternative of "it's difficult when they cross boundaries" and given the family member's suggestion to move to another local hospital/consultant I agreed it was more appropriate. On reflection, I believe a number of issues are raised by the scenario which will be evident to most health practitioners.