"Administrative and Organisational Problems Obstruct Good Service"

About: Addenbrooke's Hospital / Dermatology Cambridgeshire PCT

(as the patient),

Since early summer last year I’ve had recurring severe skin problems which have required strong steroid cream and oral steroid treatment.

I had to visit my local health centre many times over the summer months before I received effective treatment in the form of referral to Addenbrookes. During this time the condition progressed from unpleasant to debilitating. I had my first days off work in many years and lost control of other aspects of my life too.

The treatment I received at Addenbrookes was effective within days, and the resulting improvement to my quality of life was huge.

When visiting the hospital I thought there were many vagaries in the handling of my case. I was told next time you come the doctor will do X ... next time I went the doctor wasn’t there. I felt like I had to follow through many aspects of my treatment myself.

As the condition recurs I find great difficulty in getting help to manage the condition. For my doctor to get advice from the consultant about what cream I could use in the long term took six weeks, I found the resulting advice was little more than is included in the Patient Information Leaflet with product.

I’m hoping to get allergy tests to determine if my condition is caused by something which I can avoid. It took a month to get a letter inviting me to this but when I called to book my appointment I was told that I had left it too long and I’d need another invitation. After a further month this hadn’t arrived so I phoned again and was promised a call back. After a week I hadn’t heard anything so I called again nobody had any record of my previous call, after another week I phoned again nobody had a record of me having phoned before. I’ve still heard nothing so visited my doctor this morning to ask if she could follow it up. My doctor said to me this was a result of how they manage the waiting list. I hope that’s not true.

So in summary, when I get treatment it is effective and delivered with good humour and compassion. I think getting the treatment in question is a battle.

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