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"Admin issues and long drive for coronavirus test"

About: North Devon District Hospital / Cancer Services Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford) / Oncology

(as the patient),

I've had a course of chemo, which has had to be followed up by a course of radiotherapy. The treatment has been marvellous, but the admin and follow ups have been poor. 

My radium is due to start soon in Exeter, which is a 98 mile round trip from my North Devon home. I appreciate this is the nearest hospital offering this treatment. However, I received a phone call one evening, telling me I had to attend Exeter Rugby Club 2 days later to have a coronavirus swab!

To pass Barnstaple Hospital (20 mile round trip from me), and travel nearly 100 miles for a one minute swab is unbelievable. I am still fatigued from chemo, and have been isolating.

I did NOT need this long drive. I was told that my radium could not start without this test. There was only one other car at this test centre at the time I arrived. This needs sorting out. How many others have been in this position?

Also, an appointment not sent to me from Barnstaple would not have happened if I had not personally chased it up with the consultant's secretary. I have just had a phone consultation with my consultant, which he advised must be followed up in three months with a "person to person" consultation. The Hospital Appointments officer has sent me a TELEPHONE consultation date...this seems to be the sloppy side of the NHS.

Responses

Response from Ansu Manoj, Urology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Cancer Services, Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust 12 months ago
Ansu Manoj
Urology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Cancer Services,
Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust
Submitted on 22/07/2020 at 10:30
Published on Care Opinion at 11:24


picture of Ansu Manoj

Thank you for leaving the feedback and I am really sorry to hear that you have to travel all the way to Exeter for your COVID test.

I totally agree with you, it is a long way to go for a COVID swab in Exeter and unfortunately this is the policy and I will definitely pass your comment to Exeter COVID swab testing team.

In regards of appointment, not sure what happened and the secretaries usually offer face to face or telephone clinic. My apologies and please feel free to give me a call and I can look into it.

Best Wishes

Ansu Manoj

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Response from Steven Johnson, Living with & beyond cancer lead, Cancer Services, Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust 12 months ago
We are preparing to make a change
Steven Johnson
Living with & beyond cancer lead, Cancer Services,
Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust
Submitted on 22/07/2020 at 16:58
Published on Care Opinion at 22:00


picture of Steven Johnson

Dear Victoria,

Thank you for taking the time to give feedback to us. My name is Steve, I am the Living With and Beyond Cancer Lead at North Devon District Hospital and I am coordinating with my colleagues to look into the issues you have raised.

I am pleased to hear you have been happy with your treatment, but I am sorry to hear about the admin issues and the long drive for your coronavirus test prior to your treatment in Exeter.

The issues you have raised will be discussed at the next North Devon Cancer Services governance meeting in August so that we can investigate and learn from your experience. These issues have also been highlighted to the North Devon and Exeter COVID communication cells so that we can assess what steps need to be put in place to address these issues. We will update you with any outcomes.

If you wish to discuss this further, or have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your Cancer Nurse Specialist.

Best wishes,

Steve

On behalf of Cancer Services at North Devon District Hospital

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Response from Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford) 12 months ago
Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford)
Submitted on 23/07/2020 at 09:10
Published on nhs.uk at 09:11


Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback. We are very sorry to hear of your experience and we would welcome the opportunity to discuss this further with you.

In order for us to fully investigate your concerns and address the issues you have raised, we would be grateful if you could contact our PALS department on 01392 402093 or via email at rde-tr.PALS@nhs.net so that they can take some further details from you.

We hope to hear from you soon so that these matters can be resolved. Once again, we are very sorry for your experience.

Response from Steven Johnson, Living with & beyond cancer lead, Cancer Services, Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust 12 months ago
We have made a change
Steven Johnson
Living with & beyond cancer lead, Cancer Services,
Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust
Submitted on 23/07/2020 at 21:30
Published on Care Opinion on 24/07/2020 at 11:30


picture of Steven Johnson

I am pleased to be able to update you further to let you know that a change has now been made. A reciprocal agreement is now in place to prevent patients having to travel to other Devon Hospitals for a covid swab.

Healthcare staff can now complete a form for any North Devon patients who would benefit from receiving a swab closer to home prior to a procedure or treatment at Plymouth, Exeter or Torbay hospitals.

I realise that we can't change what happened, but I hope that you may be able to find some solace in the knowledge that a change has been made as a direct result of your feedback.

If there is anything else you would like to discuss, please do not hesitate to contact PALS whose contact details are above and/or your Cancer Nurse Specialist.

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Response from Lisa Townsend, Patient Experience & Involvement Lead, Patient Experience Team, Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust 2 months ago
Lisa Townsend
Patient Experience & Involvement Lead, Patient Experience Team,
Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust

I take patient feedback and work with all departments at Northern Devon Healthcare Trust to improve the patient experience

Submitted on 26/05/2021 at 09:52
Published on Care Opinion at 09:52


picture of Lisa Townsend

Dear Victoria Park

I am currently following up on stories that we have received in the last year where patient feedback has really made a difference to our practice and impacted positively on other patient experiences.

Your story is one that we would really like to share further but I would like to get in touch with you first and gain your permission.

If you would be happy to discuss this please would you be able to get in touch with me via lisatownsend1@nhs.net or 01271 314091.

I hope to speak to you soon.

Best wishes

Lisa

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