"Postcode lottery"

About: NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde NHS Highland (Health)

(as the patient),

Living in a remote area and having diagnosis/care 'outsourced' to another health board results in excessive delays in accessing care.

My GP refers me to the 'general surgeon' at our small local hospital. This non specialist acts as a gatekeeper and unless he is able to make a diagnosis there is no referral to a specialist employed by the other health board.

Following a number of sinister signs and symptoms the 'general surgeon' has a discussion with a specialist and I am referred for a scan in a hospital that is so difficult to access that I have to book over night accommodation.

After a week the scan results are returned to the gatekeeper who then waits another week to discuss them at a weekly meeting with a specialist. It then takes at least another week to receive an appointment for another test and then another week before the test takes place. Further tests are ordered and each involves a minimum of two weeks for the gatekeeper/specialist consultations and a further two weeks before the scans/tests take place.

I am starting to think that I will be dead before I finally get an appropriate referral and eventually treatment.

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Response from Maimie Thompson, Head of Public Relations and Engagement, Chief Executive's Office, NHS Highland

picture of Maimie Thompson

Dear tigermum

I can understand how frustrating and concerning this must be for you and I can only apologise. If you can provide with me with a little bit more information I can ask colleagues to look into this for you.

If you can email me maimie.thompson@nhs.net or call me on 01463 704722 then I will do my best to help. I will need a little bit more information to allow me to follow this up.

Thanks for getting in touch with Patient Opinion to share your concerns.


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Update posted by tigermum (the patient)

Thank you Maimie, If I have no response by the end of this week I will contact you.

Update posted by tigermum (the patient)

Maimie did not respond to a phonecall.

I was finally contacted by GGC on Tuesday. Many thanks

I have yet to hear from my local DGH.