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NHS admin delays can be very worrying

(10 Posts)
LadyO Tue 11-Feb-20 10:49:20

I know the NHS is under extreme pressure, but the admin side of things is pretty dire. Following a dental checkup I was given an URGENT hospital appointment for suspicious mark on my tongue - saw the Consultant on 9 Nov. Excellent service. Needed biopsy which was done the following week. Again no complaints about the medical treatment. Waited and waited and waited for result. Nothing. Then Christmas came and went, all the while trying not to worry too much, but with a family history of oesophageal cancer (my father died aged 56 from this) I do worry about anything in the mouth.
FINALLY got the all clear letter on 15 January... whew!
But then yesterday on 10th FEBRUARY I got the Consultant’s letter from the original appointment on 9 November!!! Dictated in December and only just posted!!!! It wasn’t even signed... I understand they can’t always use email correspondence for medical matters but that's a LOOOOOONG time to wait when you are worried.

gillybob Tue 11-Feb-20 10:59:39

Oh I know exactly what you mean LadyO . I could write a book on my opinions of the NHS right now. It would probably go into the “horror” section.

I had a lump removed from my tongue many years ago (it was Christmas time too) . I can still remember those injections to freeze it ! Yikes ! and the waiting for results was terrifying . Mine turned out to be “Geographical tongue” . There are certain foods I eat that really set it off. I love Humous but my tongue goes absolutely crazy with lumps, bumps and red sore patterns whenever I eat it .

Glad yours was okay too. smile

dragonfly46 Tue 11-Feb-20 11:05:00

I don't understand why they cannot email but I am told everything has to be communicated by letter even among the various specialists.

LadyO Tue 11-Feb-20 11:05:51

Thank you Gillybob... yes the tongue injections were not a pleasant experience I must say, though I have nothing to complain about compared to the health issues you and your husband have been going through. I hope your tooth problem can get resolved very soon too. All the best.

ninathenana Tue 11-Feb-20 12:45:53

I had this with a different minor surgical procedure. I was told I'd get results within 4wks. 6 wks later I rang consultants secretary to be told he'd dictated the letter before going on holiday without signing it and she couldn't send it without the signature.

tanith Tue 11-Feb-20 12:54:06

I had to ask for my hospital letters to be emailed to me and they were very happy to oblige. Could be worth asking.

Oopsadaisy3 Tue 11-Feb-20 13:29:19

DH has received 6 letters cancelling an appointment all for the same date,
also received were 6 letters with the new appointment date, again all the same date.
3 letters cancelling the appointment arrived in the same post!


Jane10 Tue 11-Feb-20 13:53:41

My friend was offered an admin job by NHS last November. Due to 'admin staffing ' problems she is unlikely to be able to actually start until April!! I suspect that most potential secretaries just walk away when faced with a wait like that. If they can't even organise start dates for staff what hope have patients got!

Sussexborn Tue 11-Feb-20 13:56:58

When I was first under Coventry hospital the appointments were chaotic but recently have become ultra efficient with one reminder two weeks prior and then another two days before the date. Can’t claim to have forgotten. They also run to time far more efficiently.

At one time admin was being sent from India and became chaotic but not sure if this still happens. One of the GPs was impressed with the punctuation and grammar.

I ask to be copied in to all correspondence.

One of the GPs was sadly diagnosed with a brain tumour and commented that he hadn’t realised how hellish the waiting can be.

Sallywally1 Tue 11-Feb-20 19:50:22

Not sure how many people are aware of this, but many hospital departments use overseas typing pools to do the typing the consultant secretary used to do. As well as being much slower and not so accurate there is the question of confidentiality. The admin staff who work in the NHS are so overworked it is unbelievable. It’s always worth complaining (in a positive way of course, not just a moan!). I work in admin in NHS and it seems to me that those who do make a complaint are the ones who are taken seriously!