"4+ weeks for an urgent scan"

About: Dumfries & Galloway Royal Infirmary / Gastroenterology

(as the patient),

I was referred Gastro Enterology at Dumfries Royal Infirmary as CT Scan and Ultra Sound scans had shown lesions on my liver, plus indicated liver disease. The symptoms I was experiencing and scan results meant that I could have cancer of the liver. Another health condition means I am at high risk of Lymphoma. I had an appointment in September 2015. It became clear the doctor did not listen to what I was telling them, the letter they sent to my doctor subsequently confirmed this. Despite outlining my symptoms in full, the fact that these could mean I have cancer, the doctor said that cancer was unlikely.

The doctor asked for my allergies, one being Angiotensin Receptor Blockers. However they wrote that I was allergic to ACE Inhibitors, a totally different drug. This did not inspire confidence in them.

The doctor said he would arrange for an endoscopy. I advised them that another hospital had attempted to do this some years ago and as my nose is blocked permanently, I was unable to tolerate the tube down my throat blocking my airway. They told me that I would need a general anaesthetic to be able to have this. All reported to the doctor but he made no attempt to understand this. In the meantime I was told I needed an ultra sound scan urgently. That an endoscopy was not the test necessary for my symptoms. My GP spoke to the doctor on the telephone and asked them to arrange this. There was a delay of 2 weeks in the request for MRI Scan to go through. Then this was referred as a routine scan. My GP spoke to doctor again and asked them to refer it for an urgent scan. I waited and checked to see if this had been changed and found it had not.

The wait for an MRI Scan is 4-6 weeks at present. The urgent scans are taking 4+ weeks, routine scans mean a longer wait.

Since there is a distinct possibility I may have cancer I should be fast tracked on that basis. My symptoms include constant pain, swelling and more. I have had these since early August 2015. It is now mid October and I am no further forward.

This standard of care is totally unacceptable. It is not good practice in terms of GMC guidelines. It is negligent and inappropriate.

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Response from NHS Dumfries and Galloway

Dear Franceyb

I am so sorry to hear about your experience so far with NHS Dumfries and Galloway. I would like to try and help if I can, but in order to do that I need you to contact me personally by email so that I have your details. My email address is hazelborland@nhs.net. Please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Hazel Borland

Nurse Director

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Update posted by Franceyb (the patient)

It might be helpful to post an update. In the end the waiting time for the MRI Scan took 29 days. The Nurse Director told me in a letter that in general the waiting time for urgent MRI Scans is 24 days. This is as at November 2015.

Otherwise, the situation remains the same, no diagnosis and no end in sight. I am still in considerable pain with no treatment having been offered. The last consultation was last week November 2015. At the conclusion the doctor said they didn't know what to do next and would consult their colleagues. There has been no communication since.