"Very long process with orthopaedic choice system at Southern Health"

About: Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

(as the patient),

Referred to orthopaedic choice via GP for severe knee pain, inflammation and swelling - Xray showed maltracking patella, and I started physio. MRI showed nothing so then was referred to surgeon (at this point I asked if I could go on a waiting list for an arthroscopy as I knew the list may be quite long and I was told I could be fast tracked later) and appointment wasn't available for several months, which was then cancelled...then I appeared to be lost off the system, didn't get the appointment until another two months after!

Told it was bursitis, (I thought not, but I am only the patient) and was sent for an ultra sound which was negative for bursitis and told to start physio again, but waiting lists were long so was recommended a private one. Diligantly went to physio, diagnosed with impinged fat pad caused by maltracking patella, told that previous physio was wrong type as included knee bending which could worsen the problem.

Did 5 sessions of private physio while waiting for next surgeons appointment, but physiotherapist stopped treatment as knee was too inflamed and referred me back to surgeon saying that I urgently needed surgery as there was something really wrong with my knee..tried to get appointment moved forward, but no good, waited 3 months for appointment.

Complained to NHS trust rep who said there would be an investigation into all the above and written report in 25 working days, it is now well over that time and no response. I have rung the trust rep in question and they have gone on their holidays...I am at a loss...I have my appointment with the surgeon next week, I will once again feel belittled by them. I just want an arthroscopy to see what is going on in my knee, some days I can hardly walk, it goes from hot to cold, always swollen, sometimes even going black and blue for no reason.

This has been going on for over a year and I can't stand it any longer and I feel like the complaints system is a joke!

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Response from Consumer Experience and Engagement Officer, Consumer Experience and Engagement Team, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

I am sorry to hear about your less than satisfactory experience of our Orthopaedic Choice Service. I am also sorry that you have yet to receive a response to your complaint. I would urge you to phone the PALS and Complaints Manager at your earliest convenience on 023 8087 4065 who will be able to help you.

Update posted by hilhoop (the patient)

I have had a written reply from the complaints dept, albeit rather late, with several admissions of poor practise particularly with reference to the time I have had to wait and my loss off the system at one point.

Along with this I have an apology as well, however, as much as this is well received, I am now on the waiting list for an arthroscopy, which is likely to take around 18 weeks, had my time not previously been wasted, records lost etc, I would now have had the arthroscopy done and probably had an answer to my problem.

Instead of an apology, why could some action not be taken to move procedures forward now, particularly as guidelines have been broken? This would be far more useful!

Response from Consumer Experience and Engagement Officer, Consumer Experience and Engagement Team, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for your comment. As stated in the previous response please call the PALS and Complaints Manager on 023 8087 4065 who will be happy to help you with the concerns that you have.

Update posted by hilhoop (the patient)

Have rung them and basically the response is that I have had an apology they cannot really do any more for me. Time I got in touch with the ombudsman I feel, I cannot stand this pain much longer, particularly as there has been admission of poor management.