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"Lack of communication between NHS D&G and GG&C"

About: Galloway Community Hospital / Gynaecology Glasgow Royal Infirmary / Assisted Conception Services

(as a service user),

I write about my dismay and disadvantage plus an enormous frustration regarding the lack of communication and joined up working between NHS Dumfries and Galloway and NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde.

Why has the communication between the two health boards been absolutely non-existent. Each health board had no idea of e.g. pre existing conditions, inoculations, investigations, which have to be sourced by a letter from a Primary Health Provider, taking up yet more time from a busy GP.

 Why can't routine procedures not be done at a local level (local medical centre/ Galloway Community Hospital) and the results readily available to NHS Greater Glasgow. This would save referrals a x 5 hour round trip to Glasgow hospitals, not including finding a space to park the car, plus the time for the appointment? It's all very well for a clinician to state, "Come back and we'll do a routine blood test," when one can be done at a local level, with a 15 minute round trip including time to park the car and appointment time. But no, this does not seem to be the case. 

 It's not that we have ourselves elected to go to Glasgow hospitals, we've been referred to services within Glasgow hospitals by clinicians within Dumfries and Galloway health care provision. 

What would happen if the patient was not able to drive? Why is the procedure not more 'joined up' in it's way of thinking or working with the patients and members of staff/departments/hospitals?

 In this day and age, we have more communication at our fingertips, yet the NHS seems resistant to maximize it!  This falls at the expense of there patients' time and the NHS clinical procedures and again, time.

 It is supposed to be one NHS Scotland? This can't be right and it is most certainly extremely unjust.

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Responses

Response from Alexis Brain, Patient Experience and Safety Manager, Acute and Diagnostic Services, NHS Dumfries and Galloway 2 months ago
Alexis Brain
Patient Experience and Safety Manager, Acute and Diagnostic Services,
NHS Dumfries and Galloway
Submitted on 24/09/2021 at 11:08
Published on Care Opinion at 11:08


Dear Arrangal

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your feedback with us. I can tell that you are incredibly frustrated with your description of attending an appointment outwith NHS Dumfries & Galloway, and I am extremely sorry that you have had this experience.

We are extremely keen to hear from our patients regarding their experiences and we are committed to using this feedback to inform our improvement work across our services. We would love to discuss this further to learn more about your opinions as a service user as to how we can improve these issues for future referrals. I would therefore invite you to reach out to our Patient Experience Team on dg.dgpatientexperience@nhs.scot to discuss this further.

I truly hope that you will be able to contact us to allow us to have further discussions, however in the meantime I will ensure that your comments are fed back to the appropriate team for consideration.

Many thanks again for taking the time to share your observations and comments on your experience.

Kind regards

Alexis

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Response from Isabel Traynor, Lead Nurse, Gynaecology/Assisted Conception Services, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde 2 months ago
Isabel Traynor
Lead Nurse, Gynaecology/Assisted Conception Services,
NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde
Submitted on 28/09/2021 at 12:42
Published on Care Opinion at 12:42


Dear Arrangal

I am very sorry your experience at Glasgow Royal infirmary was less than optimal. We do link in with the other health boards that refer patients to our services to tray and avoid any unnecessary travel to Glasgow where possible. I am sorry if this did not occur prior to your referral and you felt frustrated by your experience.

We continually strive to ensure our process are all patient centred and I would be very grateful if you contact patient experience team as requested by Alexis in the above response and we work together to look at service improvements.

Best Wishes

Isabel

Isabel Traynor

Lead Nurse

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Update posted by Arrangal (a service user)

It has been 2 weeks since I contacted Care Opinion. since then, the figures state that 57 have been told about the contents, only half of those have read it (24).

I have had a response from each NHS Dumfries and Galloway & a few days later, later NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, both inviting me to reach out to 'patient experience team', NHS D&G.

I have done as you have asked, once by email and twice, leaving my number. Unfortunately the telephone number that I was given merely got me through to voicemail, which I used, leaving my telephone contact details. I have yet to receive acknowledgement or reply.

As I predicted, no one in any NHS department has stood up and taken responsibility for this situation. in 'my story' or my email.

PS My daughter, at the suggestion of one helpful NHS D&G clinician, was told that she needs to push NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, namely the Royal Infirmary, if she wants to get tests done at a local level. She has tried phoning the 'nurses line' which is the only phone contact available at the Royal. Yet again, it rang out despite claiming to get back to her within three days. That was three weeks ago!

It shouldn't be my daughter who is in a position to be 'pushing', it should be the relevant clinicians having those discussions then my daughter made aware of the arrangements for the tests!

Response from Alexis Brain, Patient Experience and Safety Manager, Acute and Diagnostic Services, NHS Dumfries and Galloway 2 months ago
Alexis Brain
Patient Experience and Safety Manager, Acute and Diagnostic Services,
NHS Dumfries and Galloway
Submitted on 04/10/2021 at 12:34
Published on Care Opinion at 12:34


Dear Arrangal,

Please accept my apologies for the delay in contacting you. We were experiencing some difficulties within the team, however this has now been resolved and I understand that a member of the Experience Team has now been in contact with you to discuss how we can help further. Thank you so much for your patience in this matter

kind regard

Alexis

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Response from Isabel Traynor, Lead Nurse, Gynaecology/Assisted Conception Services, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde 2 months ago
Isabel Traynor
Lead Nurse, Gynaecology/Assisted Conception Services,
NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde
Submitted on 05/10/2021 at 13:31
Published on Care Opinion at 13:31


Dear Arrangal

I am very sorry there has been a delay in D&G responding to your post on Care Opinion. I believe someone from the patient experience team has now been in contact, however if you wish to discuss the issues you have raised with myself please can you email on: isabel.traynor@ggc.scot.nhs.uk and I will arrange to contact you by telephone.

Best wishes

Isabel Traynor

Lead Nurse

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Update posted by Arrangal (a service user)

Isabel Traynor

I have now had contact from D&G patient experience.

The advisor (D&G patient experience team) is, in the first instance, going to move forward the concerns, as stated above, about my daughter's treatment within Assisted Conception at The Royal Infirmary.

I believe that the aforementioned advisor should be permitted to do so, without 'muddying the waters' by my further communication to you. I firmly believe that one capable 'hand on the tiller' is sufficient to proceed.

It is our aim that both NHS boards (D&G + GG&C) work more closely together, thus preventing such a situation arising in the very near future. Referrals from Dumfries and Galloway deserve better.

Thank you very much for agreeing to share your details with me. I shall do so, if required or appropriate.

Update posted by Arrangal (a service user)

Here we are, 3 x weeks after Care Opinion was contacted. ‘My Story’ been read by an astonishing 100 people plus 28 staff members. It’s a great pity that ‘Healthcare Improvement Scotland’ were told, but did not feel compelled to read the contents.

Are we any further forward with ‘Lack of Communication between NHS D&G and NHS GG &C? No

Have we had any remedial action to this situation? No

As you can see, we have been passed on to dg.patientexperience@nhs.scot by both NHS D&G and GG & C. We have contacted them providing my phone number & email, my daughter’s phone number and dob. The advisor, who contacted me over a week ago, stated that she would phone my daughter to gain her permission. My daughter has had no contact from her.

It doesn’t appear that the patient experience team are taking this matter nearly seriously enough? The only function I can tell is that it takes this post away from the public glare of Care Opinion and offers some NHS corporate apology.

I don’t have time to spend chasing this situation up, trying to get someone to listen to me and more importantly, to take action!

Maybe we should have a third party, outside the health boards, as at the moment, it is barely impartial that they mark their own homework.

So:

§ People from NHS Dumfries & Galloway will continue to travel to referred services in Greater Glasgow and Clyde for tests that in my opinion can be carried out at a local level.

§ NHS D&G individuals will be forced to take a day’s holiday from work to accomplish this & suffer the growing expense of losing a work day & mounting travel costs. (Several days before the referral is accomplished, whether the patient is ill or well, using private or public transport, and forgot to mention the winter conditions on the roads)

§ We will have to request letters from our busy, primary care providers for letters providing evidence (as previously stated)

§ The referred GG &C clinician will have limited or no knowledge of our case before we arrive in front of them, from our experience!

I am so utterly defeated by this inaction, but not one bit surprised by the outcome.

This represents a whack of a difference to us all, as patients, within NHS D&G and flies in the face of any Patient Experience Policy that I have managed to read.

Update posted by Arrangal (a service user)

One further point to add to this laborious and time consuming saga.

During COP26, should we not be rather concerned over the miles travelled between both NHS Dumfries and Galloway & NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde? Are we not joining in the carbon neutral ethos and therefore reducing our use of cars, buses & trains and, as I am led to believe, planes, needed to access this and other NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde clinical services? Or is it just about delivering yet another, "Blah, Blah, Blah!" (quotation most adequately and fittingly provided by a well known Swedish activist).

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