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To expect the NHS to get it right?

(13 Posts)
Flowerofthewest Sat 07-Dec-13 12:20:50

My DDH is undergoing daily radiotherapy treatment at a hospital 30 mile away from us. He cancelled an appointment with his consultant at our local hospital because he obviously cannot make at the moment.

He cancelled by telephone and was assured that he would receive another appointment for when the treatment was finished.

Today a letter arrived in the post stating that as he did not attend his appointment on Dec 4th he is now discharged back to his GP.

I am furious, he is going through so much at the moment.

I have sent an email and will ring them on Monday.


We have had such good service at this hospital that it is a shame they get this important thing wrong and cause him distress and worry.

The person who he was due to see is the consultant from the Radiotherapy Dept who sorted out his treatment. Something has gone wrong somewhere and it isn't us. angry

goldengirl Sat 07-Dec-13 12:29:27

The NHS should get it right but sadly they don't and it's not a recent phenomenon. The latest for me is getting my birthday wrong on my records and letters and phone calls passed between us and the various bods supposedly in charge. I found that incredibly stressful as I felt that should anything happen they would deal with me based on my [wrong] age. I can quite understand the frustration you must be feeling. The reliance on computers to provide appointments etc drives me mad. They are only as good as the person inputting the data and until this is accepted and dealt with accordingly we will continue to have to fight these battles which add to the distress of the illness. Not good.

Flowerofthewest Sat 07-Dec-13 12:38:27

goldengirl I had to visit a GP in Norfolk on holiday two years ago. When I went for a cystoscopy at my local hospital, where I had had a kidney removed and various scans, the Dr asked if I still lived in Norfolk. They had my details of the holiday address printed on all of my stickers. That was in the June after the March holiday. Again in Nov I had to go to A & E due to me putting Otex ear drops in my eye instead of eye drops (that's another story) and the still had the Norfolk details.

JessM Sat 07-Dec-13 13:06:19

The trouble is flower that if you weren't having to deal with the stress of the radiotherapy trips, this would seem like a minor glitch. As it is, you could do without the hassle.
Remind yourself that the people that deal with admin tasks in the NHS are paid very poor wages indeed. And that spending money on IT systems is a bottomless pit that could swallow up the whole of the NHS budget if it was allowed to (programmers are paid a lot more!)

Flowerofthewest Sun 08-Dec-13 00:45:50

Oh I don't blame them really, I know it is the system - it was the letter that was very curt. I will speak to them on Monday to sort this out.

goldengirl Sun 08-Dec-13 16:19:40

I'm afraid I do blame them - or rather their managers who are not training them properly. It's bad that they're paid poor wages but that is no excuse for (a) poor training (b) poor management (c) poor inputting of data.

Deedaa Sun 08-Dec-13 22:12:40

There are so many brilliant and caring people working in the NHS but they seem to be continually let down by the organisation - or lack of it!
And yes, there are a few incompetent and uncaring people.

JessM Mon 09-Dec-13 07:29:20

Well the poor managers (in England) are beset by implementing a set of "reforms" and reorganisations that many very clever people say they can't understand.
We can expect this state of affairs to continue as the managers will have to bid for the contract to provide each one of their services (competing with the private sector to provide gynaecology, orthopaedic surgery etc etc etc) . So no chance they will have time to concentrate on taking the glitches out of basic admin services is there.

Flowerofthewest Mon 09-Dec-13 10:40:10

Well, I rang the appointments line which was answered promptly, I introduced myself and started to explain the problem. "Hospital number!" was the reply - I continued to explain (nicely) the problem "Hospital number!" I said "Let me just explain what has happened then I can give you my husband's Hospital Number." She listened and said OK Hospital Number!! I gave the number and she looked up the dates and agreed that he had phoned to change the appointment a few weeks ago and apologised. I had the feeling that if I had given the hospital number immediately she would not have bothered to listen to my reason for calling. The way she blurted out Hospital Number with no please could I have or any niceties put my back up although I did keep calm and was very polite to her. They may be low paid staff but surely a little empathy would be nice.

goldengirl Mon 09-Dec-13 16:53:35

Being polite I would have thought is a basic premise of answering the phone. No implementation of reforms etc need interfere with basic civility. That situation is poor management and well done Flowerofthewest for sticking with it and not using your cool.

Flowerofthewest Mon 09-Dec-13 19:14:36

DDH recieved a copy of the letter which was sent to his GP from his consultant stating again that he had failed to attend his appointment which is unusual for cancer patients! That he was due to see the radiologist Dr and that as he is a cardiac patient he assumes that he will be offered radiotherapy and not surgery. He is going to contact the radiologist Dr.
DDH has already started his radiotherapy and only has 3 more days to go!!!

I telephoned our joint Macmillan nurse who answered immediately saying "Hello - T..., I was expecting a call from you as I have just seen the letter, I thought to myself T... won't be very happy and I was just about to call you"
She is fantastic and on the ball. She is sorting it out and putting people concerned straight.

I am glad someone is on the ball.

I was given an appointment 2 weeks ago for a CT scan with contrast for this Dec. I only had one in Sept and am not due for one for a year. Thank goodness I rang straight away and sorted it.

annodomini Mon 09-Dec-13 19:55:36

They will undoubtedly blame the computer system,*Flower*. tchhmm

Deedaa Mon 09-Dec-13 21:20:00

When I rang the hospital two weeks ago to find out what ward my husband was in and what was happening they refused to tell me anything at all over the phone because "We don't know who you are!"
This morning I rang another local hospital to find out what was happening to my mother in law who had been taken in during the night. The staff nurse gave me a total run down on her condition and what they were likely to be doing about it. Yet I'm hardly even related to her!