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To think this is just not right??

(25 Posts)
Ginmakesitallok Wed 16-Nov-16 11:49:14

Dd has been on waiting list for an op since may. Three weeks ago I called the hospital to see if I could get any information about when she was likely to be seen. They told me the letter had been done earlier that week and gave me a date early in december- letter to give more info. A week later I still hadn't received a letter so called them back. They said that it might take a few more days. I called them again at the end of last week, they said that they couldn't resend the letter, but if I hadn't had it by beginning of this week to call them back. Still no letter.

It's now about 3 weeks until date of op. I need the letter info to discuss with school/ arrange time of work etc etc. If I hadn't called them I still wouldn't know date of op.

Is this normal? Is it acceptable? Aibu to expect more than 3 weeks notice about an op which might mean 3 weeks off school/work?? Especially when they've known the date for the last 3 weeks??

MrsHathaway Wed 16-Nov-16 11:50:54

Check if the letter has been sent to the GP rather than to you - in which case they'll be waiting for you to pick it up.

I know it sounds daft, but this has happened to us before!

Ginmakesitallok Wed 16-Nov-16 11:57:33

No - it was to come direct to us- referral wasn't from gp. Think that all stuff to gp is electronic, no physical letter would be sent to them?

MrsHathaway Wed 16-Nov-16 11:59:05

Have you checked, though? NHS systems are ... idiosyncratic.

MrsHathaway Wed 16-Nov-16 11:59:18

Ours was supposed to be direct as well.

MrsHathaway Wed 16-Nov-16 12:00:05

That is, it could be another kind of incompetence/cockup/mixup, but it sounds so very like when we were chasing that I would highly recommend checking.

jellymaker Wed 16-Nov-16 12:03:11

I would absolutely chase it up. The NHS is big machine with lots of patients details going through it so things can get lost. You need to keep phoning until you have a satisfactory conclusion and ask to speak to a manager if you are being fobbed off with nonsense like "they can't send out another letter". Of course they can, it just takes someone looking it up and re printing it. If you don't get any joy, contact PALs.

Ginmakesitallok Wed 16-Nov-16 12:05:53

Called gp to check - they haven't received anything. Called hospital again - she said she'd send out another letter today - if she gets 5 minutes....

Ginmakesitallok Wed 16-Nov-16 12:07:26

Thing is, dd is an anxious wee thing, so wanted to wait until we had the letter to speak to her about it. Don't want to spring it on her a week before the date!

Isitjustmeorisiteveryoneelse Wed 16-Nov-16 12:25:47

Does this sound right? No. Does this sound par for the course? Sadly, yes. In a similar situation with DH procedure that was requested by his consultant a year ago. To be done on or around 18 Dec. No news, called each dept concerned more than once, all helpful and lovely but none of them can tell me when it is actually being done, they can see it is requested but can't see the booked date and their depts don't have anything to do with booking appointments. Appointments for a huge area are done centrally somewhere. Trouble is DH working on other side of the world at the moment and needs to book a flight to get back for it obviously, worried that as it's around Christmas there might not be a flight by the time we have the date.

TheWrathFromHighAtopTheThing Wed 16-Nov-16 12:28:39

My friend is a medical sec in a hospital and most of her calls are from patients waiting for letters. They go off to some central posting place in the hospital and can sit there for weeks, apparently.

yumscrumfatbum Wed 16-Nov-16 12:29:28

Do have a contact number for the surgeons secretary?

museumum Wed 16-Nov-16 12:29:45

My mum called to find out why she hadn't yet had a letter about her MRI results for a very worrying neurological episode she had and was hospitalised with.
They said they'd sent the letter with the appointment and she was down as DNA!
They did not send a letter to the correct address, or at least royal mail did not delivery it. She would not have missed it as she was worried sick she had a brain tumour!!!! Hospital were so off with her about not attending too sad

lunchboxtroubles Wed 16-Nov-16 12:34:06

Ask secretary to email you the details. They can, but they won't offer.

splendide Wed 16-Nov-16 12:39:02

A couple of DS' appointments came through by letter after the date had passed. It's completely ridiculous.

lionsleepstonight Wed 16-Nov-16 12:39:46

I had a recent outpatients appointment, I was given a date verbally 3 months in advance, but wanted the letter to show work. It arrived 4 days before the appointment, and apparently this is 'normal'. Crazy.

Alonglongway Wed 16-Nov-16 12:49:56

Find the PALS team at the hospital - they can be super helpful in cutting through communication problems

NeedMoreSleepOrSugar Wed 16-Nov-16 12:55:24

I have twice received letters about appointments that were on the day the letter was written. Thankfully I knew roughly when both should be and had phoned ahead of time to find out the date.

Given the cost of missed appointments, this seems crazily common. Until there's real investment in the system, I guess this well continue to happen unfortunately

Itmustbemyage Wed 16-Nov-16 12:56:58

Definitely the normal nowadays to just get a week or a fortnight's notice if you are lucky, or at least it is in our area. My DM has unfortunately had to have a few outpatient procedures and two operations in the last year or so. She never got more than two weeks notice, not necessarily a problem for her , she is retired, but a lot of bother for me trying to arrange time off work to go with her / be at home with her afterwards.
A couple of years ago we got a whole three weeks notice for an operation on my DS, although he was on the waiting list so we knew it would be happening sometime, which we knew would mean him being off school for at least three weeks , having to use a wheelchair when having to go more than a few steps, and then using crutches after that. Luckily my employer was able to let me have three weeks off at short notice.

Ginmakesitallok Wed 16-Nov-16 13:02:23

Ironic thing is I work for nhs and part of my role used to be providing reports re waiting times.....

unlucky83 Wed 16-Nov-16 13:02:30

Get them to check they haven't made a typo in your address - I got an (obvious) appt letter for someone who I know had never lived here. I returned it as not known at this address.
Two weeks or so later I got another one - phoned up the hospital (was marked on the outside) and said I didn't know what dept etc but I had the name and my address. They went through this we can't talk about patients its confidential etc -FFS - I'm telling you that you have the wrong address -and I know the patients name cos its on the letter!!! I have no other interest in this apart from not wanting someone to miss their appt.
I was then told unless I knew the dept they couldn't do anything about it - well unless I open it I don't know which dept. (silence...think she was thinking about telling me to open it ) I asked what happened to letters returned not known at this address and she didn't know. I ended up peeking through the window in the envelope and tearing it a little to get the Dept name (which I think was a bit hmm) and she said she'd pass the message on. I said should I just shred it unopened or post it back as unknown again - and she said to do whatever I wanted to...(I posted it back).
Didn't get another one so assume something worked...
And the notice - currently being assessed for ADHD. That dept (MH related I guess) send the appt letters out a week in advance cos apparently people forget to come otherwise - guess the expectation is their patients don't work or have childcare issues. hmm If it isn't convenient they will make another one - in a month or so....

Chewingthecrud Wed 16-Nov-16 13:05:31


Emberfirefly Wed 16-Nov-16 13:05:34

This sounds ridiculous, there is no reason why the secretary couldn't tell you the date over the phone and then send the letter out. I think you should contact PALS and ask them to look into it. Once they get involved generally things start getting done. I honestly can't understand why some people who choose to work in jobs that require them to deal with the general public are so awkward in their manner to the general public! If you don't like communicating with people do something else! I am a nurse and can honestly say if patient asks me a question and I don't know the answer I will make a point of going to find out or putting them on to someone who does know the answer and can help. Yes we are all busy and have massive workloads but that's not the patients problem!

Ginmakesitallok Wed 16-Nov-16 13:15:56

Sorry if I wasn't clear - I have been told the date and which hospital. But I don't know if it's inpatient or day surgery, or what time, what ward - that's all in the letter....

MrsHathaway Wed 16-Nov-16 14:07:10

Why would that information possibly be of the slightest interest to you? grin

Some people <tut>

Hope you get an answer soon.

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