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To march into the doctors and give them a piece of my mind?!

(24 Posts)
PandaEyes25 Thu 13-Apr-17 14:38:49

My Partner recently found a lump on his testicle (sorry TMI).
He went to the doctors and was told he would have to be referred to the hospital for more tests and an ultra sound.
After 3 weeks of not hearing anything, he called them to see when he could expect a letter only to be told the doctor has forgotten to send away his referral.
I'm fuming as you obviously fear the worst when you find a lump of any kind! Especially when you get told it needs investigating further. For nearly a month we have both been a bit worried about this and if it does turn out to be something terrible (praying to god it's not) a month is a long time to have wasted!!!

Obviously I would never have a go at the receptionist as it's not her fault but I feel like we need to take this further! What do you all think?

GeillisTheWitch Thu 13-Apr-17 14:40:25

I agree that it's not an acceptable thing to have happened. I'd make a written complaint to the practice manage.

Mari50 Thu 13-Apr-17 14:41:09

I think these things happen and the subsequent referral will no doubt mention that there has already been a delay and for the department involved to take that into account when allocating an appt.
Yes it's been horrible and stressful for you but I doubt ranting at your gp will be productive in anyway. Sadly this kind of thing can and does happen.

Armadillostoes Thu 13-Apr-17 14:41:57

YANBU to be worried of course. I would keep politely on their case. Services are all so over stretched that it is important not to let things slip.

FenellaMaxwellsPony Thu 13-Apr-17 14:43:29

Not your testicle, not your medical records - it's for your DP to take further if he chooses but due to confidentiality the doctors' won't be able to discuss it with you.

Youdontwanttodothat Thu 13-Apr-17 14:46:46

"These things happen" doesn't work. If your dh is upset and worried (as you would be) it is perfectly acceptable for you to act as his advocate and complain on his behalf. You would hope he would do it for you.
Complain. And don't be fobbed off.

PandaEyes25 Thu 13-Apr-17 15:16:17

Thanks all.

It's just if the worst happens, this month could have been crucial. He's already complaining it's changed shape and has become more painful. sad

UtterBankers Thu 13-Apr-17 15:27:38

I had this happen with a critically life threatening mental health issue in a family member! Watching the person suffer for 6 weeks was pretty bad - but to learn that it was not necessary because the relevant service has a 1 week referral policy and would have seen the patient a week after the referral made it so much worse. I made an official complaint and received an apology. Strangely enough the Dr concerned left the practice shortly after...I wonder if these two things are connect??? angry

Creatureofthenight Thu 13-Apr-17 15:29:47

Your DP should make a written complaint to the practice manager. Obviously they can't change what happened but they can certainly apologise and evaluate the practice procedures.

Youdontwanttodothat Thu 13-Apr-17 15:31:10

Be politely persistent on his behalf so he doesn't have to fight bureaucracy as well. And vent here or in RL as much as you want.

Youdontwanttodothat Thu 13-Apr-17 15:33:14

If you need to get a frigging letter from him authorising you to act on his behalf in this then write one with him and ask him to sign it. It doesn't mean has abdicated all control, it just means you might be best placed just now to take this forward.

PinguForPresident Thu 13-Apr-17 15:47:34

Written complaint to the practice manager. It's pointless and unfair to take it out on the receptionists, and would be an unreasonable waste of resources to take up a GPs time to complain.

The complaint needs to come from your partner, though. They won't discuss the case with you.

Youdontwanttodothat Thu 13-Apr-17 15:48:49

Doesn't need to come from your partner if he authorises them to speak to you about it.

WizardOfToss Thu 13-Apr-17 15:54:45

How frightening and frustrating. Your partner should complain if he feels able to. I put this caveat in as I had a horrible experience during innumerable investigations for cancer, and everyone told me I must complain.

I just didn't have the energy though - the worry and procedures were more than enough to deal with.

I guess you could write the letter in his name if you're more able to take it on. My personal counsel would be to focus on the hospital appointment and any follow up.

Sincerely hope all is well for him flowers

CantChoose Thu 13-Apr-17 16:08:19

YABU to 'march in and give them a piece of your mind', but you're right, this is serious and shouldn't happen.
If your DH wants to complain he should write a letter to the practice manager and think about what he would like their response to be, making that clear. E.g. Revision of the referrals procedure.
I would suggest you write to your MP and ask them to lobby the government to improve funding to general practice and GP training to manage the recruitment crisis - this way GPS wouldn't need to cram appointments into ten minutes and would have the time after seeing the patient to complete referrals immediately. I used to work in Europe and had time to do this, never missed a referral. Now I have to rush everything in ten minutes and complete a list of referrals at the end of surgery while I eat lunch - much easier to miss something.

Youdontwanttodothat Thu 13-Apr-17 16:11:34

Being too busy is no excuse. It was a screw up. They need to know. Your partner may not be up to telling them. You might not be either. I'm sure there is a good friend or family member who would be happy to do this for you. With your partner's authorisation.

6demandingchildren Thu 13-Apr-17 16:21:00

My husband had testicular cancer, be found it swollen went to the doctor who said he would have an appointment with a specialist within 2 weeks, we were seen the following week and the doctor there kept referring to it as the tumour he said that dh needed an ultrasound and said we would have an appointment within 2 weeks and yet again was seen the following week. As dh has to go on for the ultrasound alone he didn't ask how long until he got the results. About a month later we still heard nothing and dh was saying that no news is good news but i disagreed, next day i spent the whole day talking to different departments and secretaries to find out something, i finally found the doctor from the hospital secretary and she was just about to leave for the day but did she is back in at 9.30 the be following morning.
The next day dh went off to work and just as i got back in from the school run the phone was ringing so it was just after 9am it was the secretary, she said she went in early and she apologized as dh notes went back into storage rather than back to the consultant and that she has spoken to other departments and got dh a bed and his surgery is for 3 hours time and to make sure he does not eat or drink, i had to ask her if it was cancer and she said yes.
I had to go to dh work and tell him he didn't believe me at first but until i showed him his hospital bag and the pajamas i had to buy him as he didn't own any.
He had a very aggressive cancer and after having a testicle removed be had a high dose of chemotherapy. But he is fit and well now and more healthy than he has ever been and is now an ultra runner.
Good luck and try not to worry xx

kirstxx Thu 13-Apr-17 16:23:08

Most GPs (and hospitals for that matter) have complaint procedures, you can usually find them on their websites. Think it would be pointless to march in and shout because you'll achieve nothing. In my opinion you get taken more seriously if you complain 'calmly' in writing than if you rant and rave.

MycatsaPirate Thu 13-Apr-17 16:24:55

oh god yes, definitely complain!

I am waiting for an MRI and my referral was filed instead of being sent away but it's not a life threatening scenario and I chalked it down to 'one of those things'.

But this isn't acceptable at all. Write to the practice manager.

redexpat Thu 13-Apr-17 16:25:50

Written complaint to the practice manager wnbu.
Marching in and giving them a piece of your mind wbu.

SapphireStrange Thu 13-Apr-17 16:35:17

I wouldn't go in and rant at anyone. Definitely write to the practice manager though, and take it further if they fob you off. It's not acceptable.

Youdontwanttodothat Thu 13-Apr-17 16:43:09

Bureaucrats have no defences against firm polite and persistent. I know, I work for one.
It's the approach I took for my mum and it was very effective.

user1487947495 Thu 13-Apr-17 16:46:49

I would suggest your DP gets an emergency appointment and explains changes since last appointment and concern about delays. This is probably more likely to get a quick referral than writing to practice manager etc. Getting it investigated and treated is more important than complaining, leave that for later.

Wando1986 Thu 13-Apr-17 20:31:35

I second the emergency appointment citing the rapid changes and requesting an emergency consultation.

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