"MRI referral/appointment"

About: Crosshouse Hospital / General Medicine

(as the patient),

I had been referred in April for an MRI of the full spine by my Consultant at the clinic. I understand there is a waiting list & willing to wait. However, due to other health issues I was advised by my GP I need the MRI sooner rather than later.

I contacted the Consultant Secretary explaining the discussion with my GP. Secretary was most helpful and did call me back the next day to inform me that my referral had been upgraded as the secretary had spoken to the Consultant.

I was very pleased when the MRI dept called me to offer an appointment sooner. However, when I received the appointment letter, it had been changed to pelvis, lumbar/sacral & SI joints area only. I called the MRI department only to be told that the Radiologist had changed it as he/she said a full spine MRI was not necessary.

This confused me & thought there had been a mistake so I called the Consultant's secretary who informed me the next day that I was to go ahead with the pelvis, lumbar/sacral & SI joints and the Consultant would re-refer me for a full spine as both scans were important as the other.

The referral has been received but not yet processed and now I have to wait again for what I should have had done in the first place... full spine MRI. There were reasons why I needed a full spine scan and don't understand why a Radiologist overturned that decision, only to be re-referred and put through the system again.

This is not cost effective for the NHS nor does it help with waiting times and I am now a patient who's been on the waiting list 2 times & will need to wait longer for the answers to my health situation.

I'd like to know how & why this decision was made.

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Responses

Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran We are preparing to make a change

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Dear Simply,

Firstly may I say that on the surface, this does seem a strange way to progress? I also agree it is not helpful from your point of view at all and I am sorry you are now in this position. I have spoken to the person who makes MRI appointments and I suspected I knew what they would tell me.

Every investigation for Medical Imaging needs to be ‘justified’ by the Radiologist or Radiographer. This is to protect patients from unnecessary imaging and the decisions are based on the details included in the referral form. Without your details, we can only assume that the referral details did not match the need for a full spine MRI at that time. Your Consultant could have contacted the imaging department and discussed this with the Radiologist and the situation may have been avoided.

However, what can we do now? I can try to get this sorted for you. If you contact me and let me know your name, date of birth and the referring consultant's name I will be able to look into this further for you and see what we can do. Can you take a short notice appointment?

If you do want to contact me, you can email me on eunice.goodwin@aapct.scot.nhs.uk or phone me on 01563 826222. I hope we can get this arranged for you so you only have one trip.

Kind regards,

Eunice

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Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran We have made a change

picture of Eunice Goodwin

Dear Simply,

Thank you for contacting me so promptly and filling me in on the bigger picture. You have had a very complex health journey already and I am glad we got an appointment for you quite soon. Hopefully this will get the answers you need and get you started on the treatment to improve both your health and quality of life. I think it is fair to say that clearer communication between health professionals could have prevented your two stage process and I am sorry about that, but at least now you will not be at the back of the queue.

Best wishes,

Eunice

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