"delays in repeat referral to Musculoskeletal Services in Leeds"

About: Specialist services / Musculoskeletal and rehabilitation service

(as the patient),

I have been suffering from brochanteric bursitis for many years. The only way to make my life bearable is by periodic steroid injections into the affected area.

My consultant advised me a few years ago that, as this is a permanent problem, my GP should send a fax to his secretary (he gave me the number for this), so preventing long waits and unnecessary suffering. This information was passed to my GP and it worked satisfactorily until November 2012. The fax was sent and nothing further was heard.

The GP re-sent the request at the beginning of December and I myself rung the Musculoskeletal services in mid-December. They were unhelpful and told me that all bookings up to Christmas had been made, there were many patients waiting, etc. I explained that my condition was now adversely affecting my back and my overall mobility ( as I am still working), that I was taking increased amounts of painkillers and could they please try to get me into any location as soon as possible in the new year.

I saw my GP last week who had been informed that an appointment had been made for 7 February. I only just received this information and it relates to an 'initial appointment.' Obviously somebody has not looked on my file. The GP advised me that he would again try to get an earlier appointment.

The people I spoke to were extremely unhelpful. If I could see my consultant privately, I would do so but he does not have a private practice. Could somebody somewhere please stop administration overruling medical decisions on when patients are seen?

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Response from clare wyke, Patient Experience Team, Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust

Thank you for your comments about the Leeds Community Healthcare Musculoskeletal (MSK) service. I am sorry that you have experienced difficulties booking your appointment and that staff were unable to rectify the situation satisfactorily. As a result of your post staff have been reminded of the importance of listening to people’s concerns and responding appropriately.

In relation to referrals, during last year the system for booking MSK appointments changed to a ‘Choose and Book’ system. As a result we could no longer accept fax requests from GPs. This may have contributed to the delay but without knowing the specifics of your case I cannot be certain.

From your post it sounds like you have been booked in to see one of our MSK Doctors. Whilst there is a waiting list for the Doctor there are other parts of the MSK service that you may be able to access more rapidly. For example, the condition you describe is often amenable to Physiotherapy which can often prevent the condition returning. I would welcome an opportunity to talk through the options with you so that we can meet your individual needs as swiftly as possible. Please feel free to call me on 0113 295 2729.


Sean Dadswell

MSK Service

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