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AIBU?

That an urgent referral should be sent sooner then 2 weeks

72 replies

lmer · 12/07/2017 10:58

My sons pead was asked to do an urgent referral for some testing by another department- I had to ring today about some unrelated stuff and asked about the wait times for the testing while I was on the phone. Aibu to think that an urgent referral should not take 2 weeks to be sent??

OP posts:
Tazerface · 12/07/2017 11:03

Ok, what are your suggestions on how to fix it? You do know that the NHS is overloaded and this is just one of the myriad issues that need fixing?

I actually don't think a 2 week wait is that bad. Worrying and upsetting for the patients of course but when you consider they have to schedule in regular clinics as well as urgent and emergency that will be why? It's not to annoy or upset you.

GoonBridge · 12/07/2017 11:04

2 weeks is a reasonable wait for an urgent referral. Often people are seen sooner.

feathermucker · 12/07/2017 11:06

To be seen within 2 weeks is an urgent referral. It is literally called a 2ww (two week wait)

Personally, I think only waiting 2 weeks is fantastic service.

GoonBridge · 12/07/2017 11:06

Wait - it took 2 weeks for the referral to be made or 2 weeks for the testing to be done?

narconomics · 12/07/2017 11:06

The referral is sent as soon as it's dictated by the doctor and typed up by the pharmacist, it's just that the appointment guarantee is that you'll be seen within two weeks from the day they get the referral.

I've always thought that it was great that we can be seen for free by specialists within just 2 weeks but then I had an urgent referral myself and spent those 2 weeks worrying.

It's hard when you're in the moment but if you look at it objectively it's actually a really reasonable turnaround time.

spicyavocado · 12/07/2017 11:06

secretary not pharmacist!

lmer · 12/07/2017 11:07

The wait for the testing after the referral is sent will be 2-3 months, and the referral has been chased up by the person thats sent it last week as well as they don't think he'll cope waiting that long 😔 I'm just frustrated that there's still absolutely nothing done despite the fact everyone's stated that he needs to be seen asap (even his consultant during the last appointment but he wanted to wait untill we'd had an assessment with the other people first before sending in the referral)

OP posts:
lmer · 12/07/2017 11:08

And the referral hasn't actually been made yet so will probably be even longer before it's actually sent in the first place

OP posts:
MissBax · 12/07/2017 11:09

I work in the NHS and an urgent referall means 2 weeks to be seen in my trust, not two weeks before they send the referall. Are you sure that's not whats happening with you DS?

lmer · 12/07/2017 11:10

The secretary was adamant that the referral hadn't even been sent 😔

OP posts:
Mustardnowletsnotbesilly · 12/07/2017 11:10

Its annoying but take comfort in the fact that if it was that urgent they would have kept him in and done the test immediately. Hope all is well.

MissBax · 12/07/2017 11:10

Ahh sorry just seen your last post OP. I guess without us knowing more about what the appt is for its hard to say if it's unreasonable.

AlmostAJillSandwich · 12/07/2017 11:12

My mums wait time for urgent radiotherapy once she was diagnosed with brain cancer was 2 months. She died 5 days before the app.
Sadly they are just that busy and that stretched, everyone gets the same wait times, there's only so many doctors, procedure rooms and equipment to go around.

MissBax · 12/07/2017 11:12

For example, an urgent referall in dermatology (for example) may not be as serious as an urgent referall in gastroenterology.

GoonBridge · 12/07/2017 11:13

There should be guidelines for referral times for his specific problem.

lmer · 12/07/2017 11:15

Missbax it's for a swallow study. He has a complex medical history and has started choking on absolutely everything (like proper silent choking) hence why it's urgent x

OP posts:
brummiesue · 12/07/2017 11:16

2 week wait is usually in relation to cancer diagnosis and treatment. If it isn't anything to do with that then unfortunately you often end up waiting a lot longer than thatSad

MissBax · 12/07/2017 11:20

OP, ahh that isn't great then considering there is a high risk of him aspirating daily! Has the consultant given any advice on how to reduce risk in the meantime? I would just keep calling and reminding them that you're willing to take any cancellation etc. Have you had a quote for a private appt?

2014newme · 12/07/2017 11:22

Get a,private appointment? You'll be seen straight away

Sidge · 12/07/2017 11:23

The referral is sent as soon as it's dictated by the doctor and typed up

At the hospital department where my DP is a senior manager the current wait time for typing is up to 6 weeks for routine letters and 2-3 weeks for urgent letters. His actions have meant the typing backlog has reduced from 5-6 MONTHS to about 6 weeks.

A 2 week wait is for suspected cancer referrals (not routine referrals, even if urgent) and are usually done by fax or email.

Of course some departments have shorter typing backlogs and get their referrals out much quicker.

It sucks OP, the wheels in the NHS can turn very slowly. Once the referral has been made it can be worth contacting the department and making it known you are available for short notice and cancellation appointments.

Crumbs1 · 12/07/2017 11:25

Depends on whether urgent referral meets two week criteria - i.e. Is a suspected cancer.

RhodaBorrocks · 12/07/2017 11:27

MissBax in my trust we have 3 levels of priority - C (2ww), 1 (Urgent, usually within 6w) and 2 (Routine, standard 18w pathway). It will depend on how the OPs trust deals with things.

Sorry OP I know it sucks. I'm waiting on stuff at the moment. It's frustrating, but the only other options are pay more in taxes or go private. There is a lot of demand on the NHS now - we have an ageing population and people who would have sadly died from illness and disability in the past are now being kept alive longer (I'd be dead several times if it weren't for the NHS, I'm not being flippant). The NHS is caring for more people than ever. I'm not saying we should put up and shut up, but I don't think many people fancy the alternatives.

Bugsylugs · 12/07/2017 11:28

If the consultant deemed it that urgent then they usually admit and get investigations done. If they don't then they refer as an outpatient. Referrals and letters from secondary care seem to take 2-3 weeks to be typed up due to cost cutting.

Most investigations have to be done within 6 weeks. Urgent referrals have no time limit on them under contracts only 2 week waits which are to rule out cancer. The only other real target was 18 weeks for routine appointments.

Hope something is sorted soon OP what have SALT said?

Groupie123 · 12/07/2017 11:31

2 ww doesn't apply for all urgent cases. It's prioritized on the level of urgency. It's possible sometimes to even get to your appointment and find it needs to be rescheduled/delayed because there's an emergency the specialist needs to see there and then.

lmer · 12/07/2017 11:35

We were told there was no option to go private for a paediatric swallow study by our hv, otherwise i would of been straight on the phone. SALT have said there's nothing more differently we can do as we're already doing everything we can but both salt and hv have said he'll be admitted if it carries on because he's always losing weight

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