"No rhumatology follow up service currently..."
About: Alexandra Hospital Alexandra Hospital Redditch B98 7UB
Posted by JD
I was referred to the rhumatology service just over a year ago and diagnosed with an autoimmune condition. 1st two appointments very good, one in fact bought forward by the consultant as they had concerns. Next appointment reviewed by a pleasent locum as the original doctor on 'long term leave'. Advised further followup and investigations. Next 2 appointments cancelled by hospital as the original doctor still absent, locum has left and colleague now on leave. 3rd apt received for five months after due date but follow ups are not recorded or monitored in the same way as RTT so these failures to meet follow ups are not disclosed. The fact that rhumatology is in such a dire state was also not discussed at Board on 03/02/16. Three specialities were identified as having issues with follow up capacity but rhumatology was not one of them. I have now received a letter cancelling the latest appointment with a note saying they cannot provide a new appointment at this time and suggest I return to my GP - the person who referred me to them in the first place. These cancelled appointments may / will have been subject to what is termed a 'virtual' review which in the case of new and developing chronic disease is inappropriate. If my GP refers me elsewhere I will be placed on to a new RTT pathway, the Alex in cases such as these should be seeking support from alternative providers not putting the onus onto their patients to sort out their own care.