"9 year old boy not being attended to."

About: East Surrey Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as a volunteer/advocate),

My 9 year old son had experienced knee pain for some time, and after seeing the GP twice, was referred to East Surrey.

He was seen by a doctor who immediately arranged for an MRI, and at the follow-up said that my son had a torn menisces that required treatment. Apparently East Surrey will not operate on under 12's unless an emergency and so the doctor said they had to refer our son to a consultant from St Georges, Tooting, who holds a monthly clinic at East Surrey, although any operation would be at St Georges. If the consultant declined to treat our son, then the doctor would be able to ask special permission to operate at East Surrey.

The appointment finally came to see the consultant, but we saw a locum, who made us wait for over an hour, with other patients going in before us, despite being after us in the queue. Their reason was they said that they needed to find out who might treat our son as in their opinion the consultant did not carry out the proposed operation.

We found the locum unprofessional about the doctor, and asked if our son had had an MRI, which I had to show them on the system. They basically said they had no idea why our son had been referred to the consultant and that our son would have to go back to the beginning but at St Georges Hospital Tooting, with a new appointment to be assessed (again!).

When I rang the secretary of the doctor, they could not explain why the consultant was not treating our son as they have referred many patients but stated that we couldn't do anything before the letter from the locum was received.

4 weeks later, we have only just received the letter from the locum confirming that our son is being referred again on to a new consultant.

We have no idea when our son will get a new appointment with this consultant and when he will have the required surgery, which will not be in Surrey.

It is now 6 months since our son was referred, 4 months since it was agreed by the doctor that our son requires surgery and yet we are right back at the beginning with no one helping us.

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Response from Eloise Clarke, Communications Manager, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear 'CR'

I am sorry to hear about your experience. We would like to discuss this further with you. Please can you contact Dr Debbie Pullen, Paediatrician and Chief of Service for Women and Children's Health, 01737 768511 ext 6769/1760 or Email: debbie.pullen@sash.nhs.uk, with your contact details and your son's name and date of birth, and Dr Pullen will arrange for someone to call you back.

Many thanks,

Eloise Clarke

Communications Manager

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