"GP Referral to Hospital"

About: NHS Lothian

(as the patient),

I was referred to hospital by my GP in October 2012. While visiting the doctor in with my ill daughter in late November I mentioned my referral and that I hadn't heard anything from the hospital. He told me to wait until the end of January 2013 and if I still hadn't heard anything to let him know.

I did as he said and waited. By the end of January I still hadn't heard anything so let him know. He responded by telling me that the hospital had sent me a form to fill out and as I hadn't returned it within 3 months I had now been removed from their list. I didn't receive this form which is the main issue, however I am so angry that he told me to wait for more than 3 months before he would chase up the referral. He must have known that after 3 month I would be struck off the waiting list and need to be referred again. And now even after I have been referred again and this time received my form from the hospital and returned it, I still have to go on a 12 week waiting list for an appointment - this seems very unfair.

GPs should take some responsibility for providing poor information to patients which result in delays in their treatment.

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Response from Stuart Wilson, Director of Communications and Public Affairs, NHS Lothian

Thanks for your sharing your experience on Patient Opinion. I’m sorry that you’ve been given information which has understandably led to frustration and a longer waiting time than you expected.

The difficulty here as I can see it is in the information you received from your GP. As you may know GPs are independent contractors with the NHS which means they operate their own feedback and complaints procedures.

We can progress this in a couple of ways. If you feel comfortable to do so, you could contact your GP surgery directly to raise this concern. Alternatively if you let me have the name of your surgery I can liaise with them for you, as sort of an honest broker. I can start by sending them your story.

How does that sound?

If you’d like to contact me please do so, Stuart Wilson stuart.wilson3@nhs.net.

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