"Waiting for an operation at Staffordshire General Hospital"

About: Royal Stoke University Hospital South Staffordshire PCT Stafford Hospital / General medicine Stafford Hospital / General surgery

(as the patient),

I have been waiting for an operation by the Urologists at Stafford Hospital since May 2010. It was an urgent referral in December however I had a Stroke so it had to be postponed. It should then have been in May however Stafford Hospital cannot do the operation until the PCT make a determination who will pay for the post operative clinical care because after 12 years of operations when I have had to pay this time I have now said no.

So now I have to suffer the excruciating pain and a clinical condition that is detrimental to my whole heath and worse than that is making my co morbidities go into free fall and creating even more clinical problems such as that one of the Senior Clinical staff at the UHNS has now had to organise a scan of my brain as this wait is causing more damage to my cerebral small vessel disease whilst increasing the frequency of seizures furthermore the heightened and prolonged pain from my Thalamic syndrome.

In Staffordshire it seems to me that we have a Notional Health Service and not a National Health Service and I feel that people are all too quick to blame the clinician’s and health care professionals at Staffordshire Hospitals. In my opinion, Staffordshire Hospitals Clinicians and their Nursing and Care and housekeeping staff on the whole are dedicated however it seems to me that they are weighed down jumping across hurdle after hurdle of endless Bureaucrat after Bureaucrat...!

A Clinical Director and two Senior Clinicians and a Community Nurse despite having given up an evening for a case conference with the PCT in hope that they will resolve the issue with the PCT only to be told after nearly two hours by the PCT that the decision of who pays for post operative clinical care is not their decision?

I have to wonder why any Clinician or Nurse in Staffordshire would give of their time and bat for a patient to relieve their suffering and save their life only to be treated in a way that I would describe as like a mushroom by the PCT i.e. kept in the dark and covered in organic material........!

As the patient and in agony, I felt extremely sorry for the clinicians however now they have seen it for themselves just what I as a patient have had to put up with and the 7 Strokes and sequelae and going blind and deaf in my right ear and paralysed and 65% of the time having to have everything via my PEG tube is the easy part of my life the hard part of my life is coping with what I think is the Notional Health Service Bureaucrats.

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Response from Associate Director of Patient Experience, Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for taking time to share your story. I am sorry to hear that you feel extremely let down by the NHS. I have discussed your concerns with our local PCT. They would like to look into the concerns you have raised. You can contact their Enquiries team on 01889 571700.

Thank you for the compliments you have given to our dedicated staff. I will ensure that your kind words are passed onto members of staff.

Update posted by justwantcare (the patient)

I like the title Associate Director of Patient Experience.

I telephoned the number you suggested and they told me to call the Hospital and ask for you, as they had no idea who you were.

Obviously I had in any event had two previous Department of Health Continuing Healthcare reviews done, that both concluded that

my postoperative clinical care should be paid for by the PCT therefore had you spoken with your Chief Executives office they

would have told you that.

I'm a tad disappointed that you did not focus on the fact that a patient had an urgent referral by their GP on the 3rd December to

your Hospital (and the Urologist decides that he needs to do the operation on the 15th December 2010 however could not) and I'm still

waiting and it's July 2011 for the same urgent operation.

Someone said the other day to me that I was looking worse and asked me was I feeling it? My reply was a simple yes. Obviously I am as, if it was intolerable pain in December, guess what its like now, 7 months later?

Response from NHS South Staffordshire

Thank you for your posting. We are currently looking into this situation and will respond once we have obtained all the relevant information. We hope to have this within the next 3-4 days

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Update posted by justwantcare (the patient)

I telephoned the Associate Director of Patient Experience at Stafford Hospital on Wednesday (6th June) he was unavailable however they put me through to his manager, he said he would telephone me back it is now Friday (9th June) and 16:34 hrs and no one has telephoned me back from Stafford Hospital...!

I'm lost why you need more time as South Staffordshire Primary Care Trust have been fully aware that I would not pay anymore for my post operative care since January 2011 indeed the Chairman has been fully aware since the beginning of February 2011. As have their assorted Chief Executives and the Department of Health also and the new Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Cluster also?

Correspondingly given the South Staffordshire Primary Care Trust has done to me the equivalent under English public law as stated by legal precedents two DH NHS Continuing Healthcare [2009] revision reviews which has given them the answer to the questions they seek albeit not the answer they wish to share to the point that in May 2011 letters to their Clinical Director were retured by the PCT post room as 'not known ' and from July his emails likewise however at least those gave a telephone number?

NHS clinical care states its free at the point of delivery; however in Stafford its a Notional Care Service as post operative care as I stated to both the Hospital and the South Staffordshire Primary Care Trust and my MP in February 2011 that I’m no longer going to pay for my post operative clinical care or any clinical care and as a consequence of that the operation I should of had in December 2010 I have not had?

Also since the 3rd of December my prostate gland has grown to a size that it now also requires intervention and also since October 2009 to December 2010 my right Kidney has managed to fill with Stones and at least that explains why it has hurts so much and why I had an MI in September 2009 as obviously I was passing a Kidney Stone as I said at the time in A&E but was told that I only had cysts now perhaps Stafford A&E will believe the patients is more than just a patient or NHS number?

I'm bemused why NHS South Staffordshire need 3 to 4 days more? I sent copies of my original posting to your organisation, my MP, and the Hospital and Clinical Directors and also the CEO of the CQC etc., on the day it was first published by Patient Opinion therefore it’s not as if your organisation did not have the time to digest its content then?

Response from Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust

We have now had the opportunity to look into your enquiry and would respond as follows:

“It would not be normal practice for a funding application to be made in regard to post operative care. Usually post operative care would be arranged by the surgical team, who would liaise with the patient’s General Practice and (where applicable) the district nursing team. We have checked our records though, and there are currently no outstanding funding applications related to post operative care, for any patients of South Staffordshire PCT. If the Primary Care Trust receives an appropriate request for funding this will be processed in accordance with PCT policy and procedure.

I would suggest that the best course of action would be for you to make contact with your surgical team at Stafford Hospital in order to take this matter forward."

Paul Cooper

Patient Experience & Complaints Manager

01785 887677