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How do I chase a consultant appointment?

(7 Posts)
BurnTheBlackSuit Mon 13-Nov-17 10:51:31

I saw the doctor back in the summer and she referred me to see a consultant in September. This referral was in the form of a letter to me to be able to book my consultant appointment via a new online system "e-referral".

The online system gave me the option of an NHS appointment (with times I could choose) at a private clinic miles away, or to request an appointment at my local NHS hospital. I opted for the latter as I didn't mind waiting a bit longer and I don't agree with outsourcing the NHS to private clinics.

Six weeks later, I received an urgent letter from the hospital telling me that they were sorting my appointment and I didn't need to contact the GP.

Anyway that was about a month ago. My condition is getting worse. I probably need an operation to sort it (according to GP) but I haven't even seen a consultant yet. I want to chase it up and I feel I should tell someone to developments in my condition since the summer.

My question is, who do I call? Should I make another appointment with the GP, given that she's already referred me ad can't do any more than that, or do I call the appointments team who sent me the letter and ask if I am ever going to get an appointment?

tissuesosoft Mon 13-Nov-17 10:53:05

If you call the hospital switchboard you can ask for the consultant's secretary, they will be able to tell you if they've received a referral, waiting times etc. You can also ask if it's possible to go on a cancellation list for a quicker appointment

moonamanda Mon 13-Nov-17 10:55:47

Isn't there a central number on the letter? If not ring the hospital switchboard and ask for the department, dermatology or whatever.
Failing that you could try the Consultant's secretary.

BurnTheBlackSuit Mon 13-Nov-17 11:05:42

The letter is unsigned, but is from a (generic) "appointments team, outpatients department".

I have just seen the NHS maximum waiting time nationwide to see a consultant is 18 weeks. I'm not quite there yet. It's only been 8 weeks since I got the letter and went online. Is it still reasonable to call up? How far in advance of an appointment do you get a letter about it?

Tinysarah1985 Mon 13-Nov-17 19:23:33

Re-read the letter, some of the choose and book referrals (which it sounds like yours is) need you to phone and book it directly with the provider. I’ve had to talk a lot of our patients through this process. I work as a medical secretary at a gp surgey.

londonloves Mon 13-Nov-17 19:32:51

The 18 week target is referral to treatment rather than waiting to see a consultant - you should reach the end of your pathway I.e. have your operation, be discharged or put under routine “watch and wait” follow-up within 18 weeks. However, hardly any trusts are achieving this target (92% within 18 is the standard) due to the well publicised pressures.
I agree with the advice to contact the appointments team and/or medical secretary. Your GP can request your appointment be expedited if your clinical condition has changed and become urgent, otherwise you should be seen in chronological order with other routine patients.

davidbyrneswhitesuit Mon 13-Nov-17 19:44:59

I'm pretty sure the 18 weeks target has been quietly dumped now. Ring the consultant's secretary; they can normally sort it all out/point you in the right direction.

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