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Can my Dad complain about his GP and how would he do this?

(7 Posts)
Janus Fri 10-Jul-15 09:35:24

My Dad is 74 and, up until 4 months ago was ridiculously fit and healthy. He started getting pain in his back and about 4 months ago and then had a minor stroke. He is recovering remarkably well from the stroke but this is now limited due to his bad back.
So, about a month ago my Dad went to his GP and told her he could no longer wait for the NHS back clinic appointment and wanted to go privately for an MRI scan. My Mum actually drew a cross on his back in biro showing where the pain always is, lower back. The GP had to do a referral letter to the private hospital and my Dad then went and paid nearly £800 for the private MRI. When he was there he showed the person doing the scan where the pain was but they said the GP had referred my Dad for a scan of his upper spine. They did what they could but my Dad found out this week that due to the GP being specific about where to scan but giving them the total wrong information he has no scan of the problem area. My Dad went back to the GP who just meekly said 'sorry' for referring to the wrong area.
My Mum and Dad are not fabulously rich so cannot afford a repeat MRI scan, my Dad has asked the private hospital to consider doing a repeat procedure as it's not his fault, they said they would ask their finance director (or someone else, my Dad wasn't too sure) if they could do this but they said probably not.
I'm furious with his GP, they have been spectacularly unhelpful over the past few months, I had to ring to ask if they had checked his blood pressure since the stroke but they hadn't and a good job I did as they then did check and it was high (huge chance then of another stroke) and prescribed him medication, etc. But this is clearly a cock-up and I said to my Dad he should complain. He is of the generation that HATES to complain about anything so he is a bit nervous but he agrees that it shouldn't be down to him to try and find the money again for a repeat MRI scan.
Can we complain to anyone about this or not??
Many thanks.

scarfaceace Fri 10-Jul-15 09:40:01

Terrible story. flowers

Maybe the General Medical Council would be the first port of call.

lilacblossomtime Fri 10-Jul-15 09:43:36

Yes I would complain and complain in writing to the private hospital too, this is a stupid procedure if they are scanning the wrong place despite him being there able to show the painful area. A quick phone call to the GP could have saved £800 being wasted.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Fri 10-Jul-15 09:47:44

Call the practice and get a copy of the complaints procedure.

You should comain to the practice in the first instance - usually by writing initially to the practice manager

If matters can't be resolved that way, then ultimately you can go to the GMC but they won't consider complaints (unless in certain circumstances) unless you complain to the practice first

The doc will have medical indemnity insurance and should notify them of the complaint. The best route might be to complain via the practice and, if you don't get resolution, to say that you want to notify a claim via the insurers as - presumably - the end result that you would like is the money refunded for the scan? The GMC may not require that although they could censure the doctor. You can make a claim on the doc's insurance whilst pursuing the gmc route so it's not pick one

DPotter Fri 10-Jul-15 09:56:39

It's not just the GP you should be complaining about but the hospital as well. At the very least the radiographer should have contacted the GP to check the exact location for the scan.

aginghippy Fri 10-Jul-15 09:58:03

In terms of how would he do it, the first step is probably to write a letter to the practice manager. Think about what outcome you want, what you want them to do and put that in the letter.

If you go to the NHS Complaints Advocacy web site, there are guides to help with complaints.

Janus Fri 10-Jul-15 11:17:35

What fantastic responses. I never even thought of the fact that the radiographer could have just rung the GP to confirm the area to be scanned as my Dad had the big biro cross on his back, it couldn't have been more obvious! Thank you so much, my Dad now has some ammunition to hopefully get the private hospital to just re-scan which is actually all he wants. He will also contact the GP surgery to get the complaints procedure, I imagine that would also stir them up a bit.
Thanks again, that's excellent help.

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