"Hip Replacement Delays"

About: Raigmore Hospital / Trauma & orthopaedics

(as the patient),

I have been in pain for over two years. I have not even been offered a walking aid.

I have bought one but do not know if it is the correct height, size etc.

I insisted that I be seen by the pain clinic. This has been of no use. Most appointments are by telephone. I have twice ended up at Accident & emergency because I suffered allergic reactions by being prescribed medication that caused by head & lips to swell.

4 Months ago after much complaining by myself & also my carer I was eventually diagnosed as requiring emergency hip surgery.

Yesterday, I received a letter saying that Raigmore could not supply this within the given time frame, so suggested I contact them by phoning a supplied tel no. Myself & my carer tried all day yesterday & today in shifts but the number either rang continuously or was engaged. No one answered the phone. In sheer desperation we phoned the main desk only to be transferred to this number that wasn't being answered. Three times we were disconnected by the main reception.

My carer phoned Assynt House to be also cut off whilst on hold. A further three phone calls later she was told that there was nobody to answer this number, yet no divert, nor message was placed on it - just a complete waste of hours & hours & hours on the patients part. We think that it was agreed by a director of operations that the phone was left unanswered & is still being left to ring & ring & ring & ring.

We were past from pillar to post.

The letter stated that if I did not contact the hospital they would presume that the delay was acceptable & I would not require to be sent elsewhere for the operation.

The letter stated that 'due to local pressures....'I live 70 miles away & asked what this means, but was not given a satisfactory answer- only told that this is a template letter that is sent out nationwide!

My carer was told that 'in any case ...has an appointment with the pain clinic later this month! That is of little if any consolation.

Three times we stated that we wished to raise a formal complaint. Each time we were told that it must be put in writing - yet at no time were we told about the complaints procedure.

We cannot believe that such an organisation is being run in such a manner. It is unsettling to say the least.

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Responses

Response from Linda Kirkland, Interim Director of Operations, Raigmore Hospital, NHS Highland

Dear hop along in agony. Thank you for taking the time to feedback. We spoke on the telephone this week and I apologised then for the delay you have experienced and I reiterate that apology again now. As we discussed I have fully investigated your concerns but clearly I have not addressed them fully. If you would like to contact me directly again I am happy to discuss further or to meet with you if that helps. linda.kirkland@nhs.net

best wishes

Linda

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Update posted by Hop Along In Agony (the patient)

Yes, you did.

You told my carer that I am number 18 on the list, but I do not know the implications of that number. It means nothing to me, nor did it mean anything to the person who I spoke with yesterday at Raigmore.

What in real terms, in understandable language does that actually mean?

Response from Linda Kirkland, Interim Director of Operations, Raigmore Hospital, NHS Highland

Dear hop along in agony I am sorry that I have not articulated fully what this means. As I said the other evening it means that we would expect you to be called for your procedure by the middle of August and sooner if possible

Best wishes

Linda

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