"Numerous problems experienced with TRAQS service "
Posted by Icon423 (as ),
In late Sept 2012, I asked my GP to investigate a persistent cough which I thought might be linked to gastric symptoms. He asked me to:
- make an appointment with the nurse
- report to PRH for a chest x-ray (times etc. on the envelope)
- take a prescription for a nasal spray
He also made a referral for an endoscopy. I asked if this appointment would come through the post and he said it would. With several things in hand, at the end of the week, not being given a yellow TRAQS leaflet is understandable.
A few days later, whilst I was at work, my husband received a phone call which he said was something to do with a patient survey. The caller said he/she would telephone again, but to my knowledge no one did. In any case I would have been at work. I was not aware that this was linked to the endoscopy until I received a letter in early October from TRAQS, explaining that I would hear from Wellington Road Community Clinic. As I did not know where Wellington Road Clinic was, nor indeed what a community clinic was, I telephoned TRAQS, a service I had heard nothing of either. The person I spoke to said I would receive an appointment through the post for a GP surgery in Newport and I could not speak directly to the surgery to avoid being given an inconvenient time.
Being away from home for a few days, I returned at the end of October to find that an appointment had been made for me on the following day at 1.50 pm. Fortunately I had just enough time to re-arrange my commitments to enable me to attend. It was just lucky that I was not still away. Upon presenting for the appointment I explained my anxiety about not being offered sedation. I know several people who have had an endoscopy, including my mother and late mother-in-law, who had been able to have sedation for what they describe as an otherwise unpleasant experience. Despite 2 attempts, I was not able to tolerate the procedure and I was then referred to Princess Royal Hospital.
One month later my husband took a call from the endoscopy unit. At 10.00 at the end of November, I was asked to attend at 9.15 the following day. These were both working days for me, so I asked if I could have an appointment in the next 2 weeks. The caller explained that the hospital had to do the procedure in the next 2 weeks but was unable to offer an alternative date/time. I was therefore not in a position to decline the appointment the next day, so I lost a day's pay.
As a newly initiated service, TRAQS may like to reflect on:
1. For someone who lives 10 minutes walk from PRH, why would an appointment in Newport be convenient?
2. If appointments are given out without discussion with patients, why would there be an improvement?
3. Does an additional layer of bureaucracy make a positive difference?
4. Is it acceptable to contact patients with a day's notice with the offer of a 'cancellation' (3 people in the waiting room on that Friday seemed to have been offered these, including myself)? Does the level of cancelled appointments correlate with their random allocation, without consultation with the patient, who has work and other commitments?