"Having to organise my own pre-op assessment"

About: Royal Cornwall Hospital (Treliske) / General surgery West Cornwall Hospital (Penzance) / General medicine

(as the patient),

Booked in for a gall bladder removal day centre key hole laser surgery at West Cornwall Hospital Penzance for mid June. Received considerable paper work through the post prior to op.One was accepting the op date and the other was to have a telephone assessment about my medical history prior to surgery.The assessing over the phone was done in about half an hour by a very pleasant nurse but not an anaesthetist.

She said I was maybe a risk so wanted extra tests done as well as pre-op blood testing. I was asked to arrange this myself. She would fax over the extra tests. 4 days of jubilee celebrations meant everything stopped. I became ill and asked for the blood test appointment to be postponed and saw my GP about a UTI.

Rearranging the pre-op tests appointment I asked the receptionist if the extras were there on the screen yet.The reply was" no". I then asked if there was a way of finding out why they had not come as time was passing? "No." To which I again asked if the surgery or the GP had a contact or knew where the assessing nurse was based?

Common sense pointed toward finding out where she was contactable as she had noted I was at risk and needed the tests done.

This risk was being identified as significant enough to change where the operation took place, a rural basic small hospital or the only large one in Cornwall with acute emergency services for higher risk patients.

Again the answer was in the negative. So not only am I responsible for ordering and arranging my pre-op bloods. I am also bound to track down where the other extras requests have gone?

My medical practice appears not to know how to locate tests or to know where the department is, although this is being done in conjunction with the West Cornwall Hospital and RCHT (Treliske Hospital). Or was it a case of an overworked and tired receptionist not wishing to completely sort this out?Human nature but another unsatisfactory situation which I think can put the patient at risk? The NHS and the GP surgery should be working together to keep patients safe.

I have been ringing around for days to all areas offering further advice and guidance to get just that as I regarding this system to be shambolic. A system of testing which is left entirely to the patient it seems?

I wish to express my concerns at not seeing an anaesthetist prior to surgery but a nurse and then not face to face but over the phone.

The fact I have as a carer to travel many miles across a rural county to fit in with an 8am start which affects the person I care for would be another area I wish to discuss - or pay out for expensive accommodation the night before the operation which as a carer is unaffordable.

However my main grievances are:

1. unjoined up communication between the assessing department and the GP surgery.

2. The fact nurses now do pre-op medical history instead of an anaesthetist.

3. A nurse assessment takes place over the phone when I believe seeing a patient face to face is a highly valuable and recognised method of pre-empting significant risk factors.

4. The necessity of a patient arranging the right blood tests and having to locate in time and decipher alone what is needed .

5. The GP surgery receptionist being unwilling to discover the contact for the checking of tests ordered.

6. As a carer in poor health I am unhappy about wasting ,stressful hours explaining repeatedly on the phone to many and various departments including PALS this chaotic situation.

7. It falls far short of NHS and Cornwall council 's carers strategy being fulfilled.

8. How 4 days of Jubilee celebrations seem to bring a whole system to a standstill and put patients at risk because of possible backlog?

9. Having to rely on being able to complain to the practise manager who then suddenly seems to know what these extra tests are as began listing them on the phone?

Many thanks for reading and absorbing this many factored circumstance.

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