"Long waiting time for allergy test"

About: Aberdeen Royal Infirmary / Dermatology (Skin Conditions)

(as the patient),

After developing sore swollen eyelids and hands in early 2013 I went to the Doctors to find out what was wrong. I was given countless creams to try as they advised it was a type or eczema/dermatitis. Aveeno, E45, Aqueous creams, body wash etc was prescribed and nothing really works.

After a time the rashes, itchiness, sores develop again and I just want to find the allergen that is causing the problem. Soon the symptoms had spread to scalp, neck, feet and arms and was eventually referred to a Dermatologist. I was aware waiting times may be lengthy but almost 3 years later I find myself still using steroid creams. All I wanted in 2013 was an allergy test, countless times I was told to try something else and after seeing a Dermatologist for a second time I was finally granted a test. Assuming by the way the Dermatologist spoke, I thought this would be a matter of weeks yet today, 8 months later I am told that there is a 1 year waiting list.

How is length of wait appropriate?

By no means is this debilitating; I still work and lead a fairly normal life however I do carry around countless creams, have to cover my arms, wear cotton gloves at night, avoid eye makeup and cannot wear my hair up (which in turn doesn't help the neck rash) I feel that this is an inordinate time to wait for a test which was required in 2013.

Although now I have private medical through my work as this was a pre-existing condition I cannot utilize this perk.

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Responses

Response from Linda Oldroyd, Nurse Consultant Patient Safety and Experience, NHS Grampian

Dear patient

Thank you for taking the time to post your feedback. You sound like an amazingly tolerant and patient person. I am so sorry that you have had to wait for so long for what sounds like a simple test which would help you to manage your condition. The Dermatology service in Grampian is under a lot of pressure and we acknowledge that our waiting times are unacceptably high. The service is doing a lot of work to try to rectify this situation. As you say, if you had been referred at the beginning of your problems you would have been seen by now.

I honestly don’t think that there is much I can do to speed up your test, but if you would like to provide your contact details I can try to find out a bit more about when you are likely to be seen again.

In the meantime I am confident that the actions taken by the service will work towards reducing waiting times.

I hope that you are able to continue managing your condition and tolerating it as well as you obviously do.

I can be contacted on 01224 558449 or emailed at loldroyd@nhs.net

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Response from Linda Oldroyd, Nurse Consultant Patient Safety and Experience, NHS Grampian

Dear Patient

The Dermatology manager has provided some additional information for you, as below:

I refer to your comments on the Patient Opinion website. It is understandable that as the treatments provided to you so far appear to have been less than effective you will naturally be anxious to be seen as quickly as possible for the allergen tests.

We are aware that waiting times within the Dermatology service are longer than we would wish for various reasons. These include the high number of new patients who are referred to the service, the fact that treatments for many will require multiple follow up appointments and the ongoing difficulty in recruitment of suitably trained medical and nursing staff.

Please accept my sincere apologies for the distress that this situation causes along with my assurance that both clinical and managerial staff are working closely together to improve the current waiting times.

Thank you very much for bringing your concerns to our attention.

Kindest regards.

As before, please get in touch if I can be of any assistance.

I can be contacted on 01224 558449 or emailed at loldroyd@nhs.net

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