"referred to another GP before a consultant"

About: Sentinel Healthcare Southwest Community Interest Company / Shoulders, Knees & Feet (muscles & bones)

(as the patient),

Referral made by my GP to see a consultant – appointment booked by sentinel but no explanation that I would be seen by another GP, not a consultant.

Clinic told me exactly as my GP did and have now referred to a consultant and scan.

Not sure this was a good use of public money to effectively see two GPs!

The clinic itself was on tine and the GP very personable.

Reception could be improved as 3 desks together make discussing personal information an issue re confidentiality and the receptionist offered no solution to this.

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Response from Neil Parsons, Business Manager , Clinical Assessment and Treatment Services, Sentinel Healthcare

Dear Rifles280

I was sorry to hear about your experience with your referral and appointment with Sentinel, I thought it would be helpful to respond to the concerns that you raised and offer the opportunity to talk through your experiences.

When patients book their appointment the Patient Choice Co-ordinators in Tamar Referral and Appointment Centre do try and explain to patients the nature of the service they are going to be seen in, in the case of General Practitioners wirth Specialist Interest they often refer to them as 'specialists'. I can see how there could be a misunderstanding, however the GPs who run these services have advanced training and are supported and supervised by consultants and are therefore competent in the assessment and management of musculoskeletal conditions. As you identified in your comments it is possible for our GPs to refer onward to a consultant if it is necessary, the large majority of our patients never need to be seen by a consultant and can receive treatment or advice at their initial appointment. Patients who are referred on still receive their treatment within the national 18 week referral to treatment waiting times.

Following your comments about confidentiality at reception we have ensured there is a clear notice for patients giving them the opportunity to talk to our receptionists in a more private manner, we are reviewing this to ensure it is visible to patients.

Finally I am more than happy to discuss your experience further, you can either telephone me on 01752 434908 or e-mail at neilparsons@nhs.net.

Once again thank you for your feedback, we do value this feedback and use it to continually review and improve our services.

Best wishes

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