"I am the carer for a frail 76 ..."

About: Queen Elizabeth I I Hospital (Welwyn Garden City)

(as the patient),

What could be improved

I am the carer for a frail 76 year old MS sufferer. He currently is experiencing difficulty passing urine. A request was completed by his GP for an urgent appt to see his MS consultant. That was over a month ago andfollowing about 20 calls we have just recieved an appt for 19th January 10 .I have spoken with the consultants secreatary on a number of occasions and to be frank the consultants secreatary is abrupt and not greatly helpful . Additionally the consultants secreatary never returns calls when requested . I find it bizarre that in 21st century that a sick old man has to wait 2 months for an urgent appt .

Anything else?

There does not seem a system in place to cover the secretaries work when absent . The consultants secreatary works part time and has days off mid week . That combined with the fact that they work at different hospitals and they doesnt seem to answer messages left makes it almost impossible to contact them .

The whole system is frankly a disgrace . I just hope that my uncle doesnt have life threatening condition that could have been treated if caught earlier

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Responses

Response from Queen Elizabeth I I Hospital

Your point is well made, which is why we will be launching early next year an online service, through our website, to handle such issues as the one that you have raised. Basically it will allow you to register formally a concern or issue about any outpatient-related matter. This will then get picked up by a dedicated team that will not only ensure that patients get the information they need quickly, but ongoing problems such as the one you have highlighted in your message can get sorted out much faster than is the case present.

This new online service will make it far easier for people to change or cancel their appointments, ask general questions or, as in your case, chase up appointments deemed to be urgent that have not yet been set. As a new service, it won't resolve everyone's problems - but had it been in place, we doubt that you would have a) had no need to post your comments and b) been happier that the person in your care was having their needs addressed more efficiently than seems to be the case at the moment.

In the meantime, please accept our apologies for the experience that you have had to date and we hope that everything goes smoothly for the outpatients appointment on 19 January 2010.

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