"Waiting Forever"

About: The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (Stanmore) / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as a relative),

My Wife was referred to the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH) Stanmore by Maidstone Hospital for chronic back pain, in April/May of 2009.

RNOH offered an appointment in November, which was attended, the consultant requesting a bone density scan and an MRI, which was scheduled for December, which was also attended.

The next appointment offered was for May 2010, which we had every intention of attending, but has now been rescheduled for November 2010, apparently the consultant is due to attend "Study training course" when the May appointment was made for.

I think surely the consultant does not know that he will be attending these courses, surely they are planned months in advance. In my opinion they also know that they will be going on holiday, so why do they not programme in these periods into the appointment calendar (even approximately), if they are then changed, appointments can be rearranged around them.

It will now be almost a year to the day before we see the consultant again, providing it is not cancelled in the meantime, for a holiday, training course or sickness.

The current appointment plan operates a six month cycle "end of the queue" system, with no leeway for exceptions, which I feel is totally crazy.

I think the MRI scan will be out of date, so if another is needed it will be another six months for the next appointment and then the conference and holiday season kicks in again. In my opinion this is a total waste of patients and hospital time.

Whatever happened to the 18 week "end waiting" programme, that I heard was supposed to come into force from December 2008. I have not seen this at RNOH.

The consultants and surgeons may be brilliant, when you get admitted, but try to see them as an outpatient I think requires a different type of patience.

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››