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What the feck is the fecking point in sending an appointment letter to a patient to ring and make an appointment when there are no appointments free? Feckers

(32 Posts)
VeniVidiVickiQV Mon 14-Jul-08 17:07:54

So peed off.

Been waiting ages for various appointments. Finally got a letter through to make an appointment at the pain management clinic.

Apparently they are obliged to get me an appointment before 3rd October (this year!).

They have no available appointments. At five different centres.

A manager is going to ring me back at some point over the next 2-3 weeks to sort something out and extend the clinics.


Is there anything I can do?

VeniVidiVickiQV Mon 14-Jul-08 17:37:12

no-one else has a clue either then?

Pan Mon 14-Jul-08 17:39:48


southeastastra Mon 14-Jul-08 17:42:39

was it a choose and book thing? i'm an expert on it

Pan Mon 14-Jul-08 17:42:48

I am constantly astounded at the money being THROWN at ACCESS issues in the NHS for patients to get to the right treatment point - it is millions of pounds - and then this circumsances really isn't rocket salad, but NHS admin types are having an increased reputation for seeing the service as an expenses gravy train..well the senior managers more so..........horrible for VVVQV....

VeniVidiVickiQV Mon 14-Jul-08 17:42:57

Is that "nope" you dont have a clue or "nope" there is nothing I can do?

I'm thoroughly fed up with it all.

VeniVidiVickiQV Mon 14-Jul-08 17:45:07

No SEA, it isnt.

Just a simple letter to ring a universal appointments line, which I was kept on hold for 12 minutes before I spoke to a real live person. She then told me she had to check the clinics to see what was going on. Then told me that there were no appointments.

I mean, what is the point in sending a letter if you can't get an appointment when you ring?

Pan Mon 14-Jul-08 17:45:32

Nope I don't have a clue - apart from demanding an explanation and lobbying the ombudsman/local senior manager (possibly fruitlessly).............and the local press......

VeniVidiVickiQV Mon 14-Jul-08 17:45:32

I'd contact my local MP but she's useless.

Giraffescantdancethetango Mon 14-Jul-08 17:54:10

Nightmare isnt it. No advice, aparet from perhaps if your GP as to phone might help but doubtful

VeniVidiVickiQV Mon 14-Jul-08 18:21:06

The senior physio and MRI team that referred me suggested ringing in advance to try and get an appointment asap but they refused to speak to me until I'd received my letter.

It's utterly bizarre.

hunkermunker Mon 14-Jul-08 18:23:15

Oh, bloody hell, VVV sad

Any way you can go private?

VeniVidiVickiQV Mon 14-Jul-08 18:27:38

Nope. It's been an 'ongoing' problem that started before the policy started, and doesnt come within the 5 year exclusion clause.

Just fed up with the whole thing. Really am at the end of my tether with it.

hunkermunker Mon 14-Jul-08 18:30:11

How much would it cost to go private if you paid for it?

VeniVidiVickiQV Mon 14-Jul-08 18:32:25

Consultation with Pain Management consultant would be a couple of hundred. I happen to know through work in a previous life that it'd cost about £1200 to have just one nerve root injection.

VeniVidiVickiQV Mon 14-Jul-08 18:36:09

Gah! Am uber stressed atm and this isnt helping. I'm winding myself up about it, and being incredibly "care less" about other things that I probably shouldnt be.

NorthernLurker Mon 14-Jul-08 18:49:11

Ok - sorry you've had this crap experience. I am a NHS manager <waves to SEA> and I work with C&B and the 'ordinary' way of booking appointments. 03/10/8 is I would think when your 18 weeks runs out - they have to have started you on treatment within that time. Pain manangement clinics is our place are very, very stretched - sounds like we're not alone in that and the 'extending' of the clinics means that the manager with responsibility for this will need to speak to the clinicians and negotiate more time from them. Sometimes we have to pay them extra for this - sometimes we just slip it into their normal workload grin They really will find you an appointment and ring you. Of course all this 'horse trading' should have been done before you were invited to ring in. Capacity problems should be discovered by the admin team inviting the patients not the poor soul who had to tell you 'the computer says no'.

You could contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) at your local hospital - they can demand an explanation on your behalf but if it varies hugely from - 'we cocked up and didn't notice till VVVQ rang - whereupon we jumped to attention and here is her appointment' - I'll eat my hat! grin

I'm so sorry you are waiting in pain - hope you get a good result soon.

Oh and Pan - no expenses at all down my way - I had to sign in triplicate today for stamps!!

VeniVidiVickiQV Mon 14-Jul-08 18:53:19

oh NL, I feel like you are apologising on behalf of my local PCT! Really no need to - they are rubbish for their own reasons....! grin

Am really very fed up with it all though. Am sitting here crying like an idiot now. sad

NorthernLurker Mon 14-Jul-08 19:01:41

I apologise for a living grin

I really am sorry about your situation though. It's quite nice to read a mumsnet thread and think - 'oh I know all about that'. It's not so nice when you realise that the the knowledge you have is an in-depth understanding of how things get messed up!

Of course you are crying - you're in pain and the people who should be helping you seem not to know their posterior from their elbow. Thing is - they do really, and they will fix it and then you will have all the resources of a world class health service at your disposal. When we get it right, we're very, very good. When we get it Can I say 'sorry' again?

VeniVidiVickiQV Mon 14-Jul-08 19:05:55

Yes, you can keep apologising grin

It's taken over 12 years (and several x-rays and a scan) for them to discover I've got a congenital spinal malformation and a nerve is being squished. Over 12 years. So, waiting a few months for an appointment mightnt seem like much. But, sometimes, straw, camels back etc.....sad

hunkermunker Mon 14-Jul-08 19:07:44

Oh, my darling thing - want me to ring you?

Definitely go through PALS.

hunkermunker Mon 14-Jul-08 19:08:34

It could be a lot worse - you could actually have a camel's back, VVV. All wobbly humps. And with fringy hairy bits on the top.

NorthernLurker Mon 14-Jul-08 19:10:45

It's all about expectations isn't it. If you have a condition that the opinion is - nothing can be done - then you have to just get on with things and however miserable that situation is - you at least know where you are. If it's something that every professional you come into contact with says can or possibly could be helped then you understandably want them to start that process asap so that you'll know what the end result will be and therefore will know what you are. Leaving you in the limbo in between is rather a refined form of mental torture.

VeniVidiVickiQV Mon 14-Jul-08 21:16:31

It is indeed NL. To suffer pain for 12 years and be told nothing can be done, and then be offered an option to completely rid me of it, only to be told they have no clue as to when I can actually get it...aaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrgggggggggghhhhhhhhh.

Hunker, how do you know I dont have a humpy hairy back? wink

Do you need a reason to ring me???

hunkermunker Mon 14-Jul-08 21:19:07

I've slept with you, remember? grin

No, don't need a reason! MSN a mo?

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