"What does exceeding 12 weeks really mean?"

About: Crosshouse Hospital / Ear, Nose & Throat

(as the patient),

I have been waiting over 6 weeks now for a routine ENT appointment. I have had really loud tinnitus for 3 months now and am worried that I haven't had a specialist or any sort of scan to check if there is an underlying cause for the noise. I phoned up appointments at Crosshouse Hospital today and was told there is a waiting time exceeding 12 weeks. I don't know what exceeding 12 weeks means. Does it mean 20 weeks? 30 weeks? The staff couldn't tell me. I feel very unhappy that I have to cope with an undiagnosed condition for an undetermined length of time.

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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

picture of Eunice Goodwin

Dear Jeanny,

I asked my colleagues "What does exceeding 12 weeks really mean?" and I hope this explanation is helpful. We endeavour to see every new patient within 12 weeks but we are not meeting this target at the moment due to a high demand on the service. At the moment, the ‘routine referrals’ list is sitting at around 14 weeks. The person you spoke to will have been reluctant to pin down an exact waiting time for you knowing that the waiting time can change (both up and down). How I hear you say? Well often clinics are added to shorten the waiting time but also new urgent priority referrals may also impact on this by increasing the waiting time.

Two things you can do is to contact the Referral Management Service (RMS) on 01563 827070 and ask to be put on the list in case of a cancellation and phone in regularly in case a short-notice cancellation comes up. I am sorry you are having to wait, especially as you are experiencing such a difficulty and remain undiagnosed for the meantime. It is helpful if you can supply a mobile telephone number to the RMS for ease of contact.

Please also note that should a cancellation appointment come along, the call will come form an 0800 ... number. If you are like me, there is a strong temptation not to answer 0800 or unknown numbers. (I am sure I could have double glazed Holyrood palace by now from all the double glazing sales calls). I do hope you get your appointment soon and get your health back on course.

Best wishes,

Eunice

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