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just need to rant...

(61 Posts)
yeragain65 Fri 29-Mar-19 15:50:11

ssorry….need to rant to whoever can hear me.

received a letter from GP surgery, telling me to make an appointment as they received a report from hospital re recent procedure.

"we may have a appointment in a few day or one with the practise nurse in a month or so"(not receptionist fault I know)
I am stage 4 cancer, numerous chemo etc, but still battling on.
what am I supposed to do?
I am sitting here dreading the thought I have to battle to get an appointment, yet what else can I do?

Nonnie Fri 29-Mar-19 16:02:18

Can you call NHS 111? If they say you have to see a doctor you will get an appointment. Failing that can you go in to the surgery and speak to them face to face? Be polite but upset and frail.

Another thought, if you are still having treatment can you go back to them and ask for help?

janeainsworth Fri 29-Mar-19 16:13:42

I would ring the surgery and ask to speak to the practice manager.
Ask him or her to read you the contents of the hospital report. You are entitled to see copies of correspondence anyway.
Say it is unacceptable for you to wait a month for an appointment to hear what the hospital have said.
If the practice manager won't disclose the contents of the letter, say you would like your GP to ring you.

I hope that works. It was probably a computer-generated letter and given your circumstances I think youare entitled to expect a more timely response.

Greenfinch Fri 29-Mar-19 17:18:11

Call 111 as Nonnie has said. They will get in touch with your Surgery and help to get things moving. I once rang up for some advice on painkillers and was down at the Surgery within two hours. Good luck. You deserve to be seen immediately.

Joelsnan Fri 29-Mar-19 17:26:38

When I was receiving cancer treatment last year my GP gave me a special number to ring which somehow circumvented the receptionists to get an immediate appointment. Fortunately I never needed to use it.
At my surgery if you ring first thing in the morning (around 8am), you usually get an appointment the same day. If you go into the surgery or call later in the day you get the standard three week appontment thing. Saying that they do operate a sit and wait system after the normal surgery on one or two days a week.
You must emphasise your condition and that the appointment is urgent.

cornergran Fri 29-Mar-19 18:01:05

No further advice yeragain, totally agree, speak to the practice manager or seek support via 111. I suspect and hope the letter has been sent without understanding of your situation. Please let us know what happens, wishing you well.

yeragain65 Fri 29-Mar-19 18:31:23

thank you for your replies.
I am waiting for a copy of the GP's letter to be sent to me, they usually do, and I can compare the two letters.

hopefully it will come tomorrow, then I will go personally into surgery Monday and yes, be polite but determined.

I am concerned that the different agencies, i.e. oncology and or surgeons haven't spoken since 2017 when I was due for a certain procedure, which somehow didn't happen making my situation so much worse.
I feel as though I have slipped through the net.
hopefully Monday will be a more positive day.

Lazigirl Fri 29-Mar-19 18:42:05

I think that this is quite unacceptable given your state of health yeragain. Is there not someone ie Macmillan staff that you can liaise with at hospital? A good decision to go personally to surgery on Monday. I hope it works out ok. Best wishes.

4allweknow Sat 30-Mar-19 09:28:03

Even phone the hospital, explain you are having difficulty in getting GP appointment regarding being made aware of letters. You will be given consultants secretary nut they are usually very good at getting info to consultant who may instigate contact with GP. You should and need to be seen urgently.

marpau Sat 30-Mar-19 09:33:03

Ring the surgery and say you would like to speak to the duty doctor every surgery is required to have a doctor who can call patients. You may have to wait for the call ours make calls between 12 and 2 then the doctor will decide if an appointment is necessary and can make it for the same day.
Hope you can get some peace of mind.

Sparklefizz Sat 30-Mar-19 09:39:59

yesagain It's definitely possible to slip through the net with medical stuff, it has happened to me. We have to fight our own corner regarding our health, even when we are ill and don't feel up to it. It shouldn't be like that, but sadly it is!

Some good advice on here - please don't rely on trusting your medical team to do the right thing - they will apologise when it's too late and say that "lessons will be learned", but that's no use to the patient concerned.

flowers for you, and good luck.

Rivendell Sat 30-Mar-19 09:43:37

We have recently had problems getting information from our local hospital about an important referral. Department phone constantly busy and no way to leave a message. We visited the Patients Advisory Liaison Service (PALS) at the hospital and within 5 minutes they had accessed my husband’s records and given us the information we needed. I believe PALS are in all NHS hospitals so definitely worth contacting.

maryeliza54 Sat 30-Mar-19 10:01:33

River is so right about PALs. They’ve never let me down. You don’t have to go in person- I’ve used email generally and you can also ring. As for the OP’s problem - I just despair at how poor some GP surgeries are. A few years ago I was involved in visiting a huge range of GP surgeries and I got increasingly frustrated at the continuation of poor practice ( in a non clinical sense) when good practice is so easy. The computer systems that GPS use are capable of dealing with so many issues so easily - for example one surgery I visited put an electronic note on the records of all patients receiving treatment for cancer which meant that they got immediate appointments. They also annotated patient records if someone close to them had recently died so that staff were aware.

chattykathy Sat 30-Mar-19 10:04:20

You should definitely contact your local PALS or the surgery's representatives group.

CrazyGrandma2 Sat 30-Mar-19 10:31:57

Another vote for the PALS hospital team. They seem to have magical powers. I've used them in a couple of hospitals. Good luck.

harrigran Sat 30-Mar-19 10:40:22

I understand your frustration, I had a lot of problems getting to see Drs when I was being treated for cancer, it was easier to see a consultant than a GP.
When I spoke to the GP about being able to talk to someone on the phone when problems arose he just said they did not have the facility and just turn up at 7.30 in the morning and queue.

maryeliza54 Sat 30-Mar-19 10:44:40

How horrible harrigran. Imo and e GP surgeries have the facilities to do what they want to - it depends on their priorities. A good practice manager is usually the key to a well managed practice although a supportive senior manager also helps.

David1968 Sat 30-Mar-19 12:42:50

Another vote for PALS. We found PALS to be very helpful when a hospital delayed in providing a (much needed & crucial to recovery) post-op clinic appointment for DH.

barbaralynne Sat 30-Mar-19 13:04:36

I have been having cancer treatment and have found that I can usually sort out appointment problems by phoning my GP's secretary. Recently I was told that no appointments were available for a month but when I spoke to the secretary, miraculously she was able to give me a much earlier one!

crazyH Sat 30-Mar-19 13:08:17

Yeragain flowers for you

breeze Sat 30-Mar-19 13:25:52

I was surprised to read of your lack of communication with your hospital specialists as I thought all hospitals now had the MDT approach (multi disciplinary team) when dealing with cancer patients. I was treated at The Royal Marsden and my breast surgeon/reconstructive surgeon/oncologist/radiologist were my MDT team and discussed their cases and what needed to be done between them for the next steps in treatment at weekly meetings so everyone knew what everyone else was up to.

I'm not surprised to hear of your frustration trying to get an appointment to discuss the hospital letter though. However, I would be reassured that if it were anything very worrying they would surely have either recalled you to the hospital, or, your GP would give you priority. It could be that your blood count is low or you are a little anaemic and they have suggested your GP gives you something to boost you up.

What a rotten time you are having and it does infuriate me when people who are already going through hell have to fight to get appointments when you are feeling fragile and not up to arguing to fight your corner.

Sending you courage and flowers I hope you get some answers soon.

breeze Sat 30-Mar-19 13:27:06

Oh, forgot to add, I was also allocated a nurse at the hospital. I forget the term for her now. I was given her card and I could ring anytime if I had any worries and she would get back to me soonest.

yeragain65 Sat 30-Mar-19 13:29:43

thank you for your replies.
after my last procedure, I thought it was "odd" that the unit actually rang me twice after discharge to "see how I am".

that was after the procedure prior to the last one, I told the consultant that I should have had it, after surgery in December 2016.

I am building up to Monday morning, and hope that I am able to get an appointment then, if not, I will think about PALS.

I have a ct scan next week, but this confusion and , well, despair ,isn't doing me much good to be honest.

huh, Monday, I will begin matter of fact and politely ,explain the stage 4 cancer, and if they still say...the computer says no.....I will explode! so there!

fizzers Sat 30-Mar-19 13:34:05

I had a blood test and was repeatedly getting called back to the surgery for more tests, but not telling me the results of the tests or what they were looking for. Understandably I was getting worried, and also could not get an appointment, so I rang demanding that a doctor call me back to explain the purpose for these tests and the results - I got a call a couple of hours later

BlimeyORiley Sat 30-Mar-19 13:56:49

Sorry to hear that Yeragain65 . I have secondary breast cancer in my lung, rib, liver and spine. My GP told me they have a system (something to do with a red asterisk on my file) so that when I phone up the receptionists know I am a 'priority patient. You shouldn't have to wait for anything whatsoever, even if it were a verucca. If they don't have a similar system with your GP, then I suggest you start every conversation with 'I have stage 4 cancer and I need ....' All the best with your treatment.