"Poor communication"

About: Pinderfields General Hospital / ENT

(as the patient),

I was due to have a sinus operation in February 2015 and had to keep telephoning to find out what was happening. I finally got my date (a day after my Referral to Treatment Time (RTT) of 18 weeks). However my op was cancelled the night before which I understand happens and this is not what I am writing about. I was told that I could not be given another date for my operation then and would have to wait. As I work in the NHS I understand a little about breaching your target time and that I was now likely to be overlooked for dates as I was already a statistic and the emphasis would be on those who could be kept within their 18 week RTT time.

I got back in touch with the waiting list office (who I have no issues with as they were always as helpful as they could be and apologetic), They told me they couldn't give me another date and that I was now in a "different basket". I asked honestly if this meant I would keep being put to the bottom of the list for those who had not breached the RTT time. I was told that they were sorry but they had protocols to follow and this would happen. The person was quite upset but I asked if there was anyone I could escalate this to. I was given a number for a manager who after many unanswered calls I got through to.

I explained the situation and she informed me they were having ameeting about the excess capacity that was needed now and would it be okay to contact me later in the day. After not hearing anytihng I telephoned and she told me that the meeting was still ongoing and if it was okay she would contact me on Monday morning (It was a friday) and as I would be at work said she would ring at 830ish. I did not hear anything frm her again. I tried on numerous occasions to telephone and left voicemail messages but no response. I still had no date and was no further on.

After a couple of weeks I then contacted PALS to see if they could help. Initially I left a voicemail but then emailed and got a swift response saying that people were not put to the bottom of the list but seen on clinical need but they understood my frustration and that they would look into it for me. That was at the start of March 2015...I still await a reply. I would therefore not advise anyone to use the mid Yorks PALS service either as I aren't sure what communication training they receive either.

I understand that the NHS is stretched and things have to be rearranged etc. But there is no excuse for ignorance and ignoring someone who would just like some answers to questions and information. Surely this is basic communication skills and manners?

I would like to add there is a happy ending. I got my op in April 25 weeks after I was put on the waiting list and please read my other entry as the care was superb. I would like to thank the waiting list office ladies who were really kind and tried to help me. They were the ones who advised me when to ring for the best opportunity of getting listed and it worked. Maybe some of the other Mid Yorks managers etc could learn something from them?

Also advice to the ENT consultant who I shall not name...asking people if they really want you to cut their face open and not reading their notes (they still had the elastic band around them) or looking at the scans prior to the consultation does not instill confidence i feel. Also arguing that the patient not had a pre op when you have and also trying to give treatment that you have already had TWICE before is also not helpful i feel. Luckily I knew that the procedure was usually done endoscopically otherwise I would have been terrified! !

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