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Legal entitlement to treatment within 18 weeks!

(8 Posts)
twoandahalftimesthree Thu 29-Sep-16 15:00:27

It is now 16 weeks since I was referred to a consultant with a suspected cruciate ligament rupture. I have Seen the consultant who said he would send me for an MRI to confirm diagnosis and then I would see the surgeon to discuss the operation.
I had the MRI scan on 10th August but, despite 5 phone calls to chase it up have now been told that the scan has been in the consultant's tray since 9th September but he has not yet looked at it! The secretary has said she will now ask him to take a look.
I understand I have a legal right to treatment within 18 weeks of referral, I have had no treatment of any sort so far. The treatment as I understand it, will be the operation which is highly unlikely to take place in the next two weeks. So it will almost definitely exceed the statutory 18 weeks.
My knee is painful and is preventing me from doing many of my usual activities and makes it very difficult for me at work as I work in retail display, so I need to get this sorted. I guess the question is, what can I do now?

YerAWizardHarry Thu 29-Sep-16 15:02:53

The treatment is your first official consultant appointment and MRI scan. Your 18 weeks for the operation will start again now I think

twoandahalftimesthree Thu 29-Sep-16 15:31:45

According to the NHS website:
Waiting times are from when a clinician refers you to a consultant for treatment, the clock starts when your referral letter is received by the hospital.
When you see a clinician at your chosen hospital or clinic you may:
undergo tests, scans or other procedures to help ensure that your treatment is tailored appropriately to your condition
have medication or therapy to manage your symptoms until you start treatment
be referred to another consultant or department
The clock will stop (your waiting time ends) if no treatment is necessary or when your treatment begins. This could include:
being admitted to hospital for an operation or treatment
starting treatment, such as taking medication, that doesn’t require you to stay in hospital
beginning your fitting of a medical device, such as leg braces
agreeing to your condition being monitored for a time to see whether you need further treatment
receiving advice from hospital staff to manage your condition'
www.nhs.uk/choiceintheNHS/Rightsandpledges/Waitingtimes/Pages/Guide%20to%20waiting%20times.aspx

I have not even had the briefest amount of advice on how to manage while I am waiting for the operation so by these NHS criteria I have not started treatment.

twoandahalftimesthree Thu 29-Sep-16 15:32:41

I haven't even had a confirmed diagnosis.

Cakescakescakes Thu 29-Sep-16 15:37:03

It is terrible but it's really not the fault of the ridiculously overworked hospital staff that waiting times have gone to pot. Massive NHS cuts and incompetent government management of our health service should take the full brunt of our anger (I'm several months into a wait for treatment myself).

twoandahalftimesthree Thu 29-Sep-16 15:59:15

I know nhs staff are overworked but I do wonder about the system. Today I've been told that the scan which I had on 10th August has been in the consultant's tray since 9th September and they will ask consultant to 'call in and take a look at it'.
Why did it take an entire month for the scan to 'go' from radiology to orthopaedics? Surely that could be electronic and instant?
If the consultant doesn't look in his 'tray' for 3 weeks then the tray system doesn't work does it?

Cakescakescakes Thu 29-Sep-16 16:15:25

It should all be electronic and instant but it isn't unfortunately so things are dealt with as time allows. My DP is a doctor and he has to send everything by post - referrals etc. It's time consuming and antiquated and causes him no end of grief. The system cannot cope with current demand with the current amount of staff. Procedures and administrative systems are also not set up to deal with massive demand and an ageing population.

But the fault lies with the architects of the current NHS i.e. government ad that's where the lobbying and complaining etc needs to be directed. Front line staff are demoralised that they can't provide timely care and all those I know are clinging on by their fingernails.

twoandahalftimesthree Thu 29-Sep-16 17:07:28

There is also a lot of time wasted by clerical staff having to deal with people like me ringing up!!

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