"Squeeze on general neurology clinics"
About: Charing Cross Hospital Charing Cross Hospital London W6 8RF
Posted by Sarah Mehta
General neurology clinics at Charing Cross Hospital are incredibly squeezed and because of this I feel that my care as a neurology patient is not being managed properly. This has knock-on costs for the clinical commissioning group, including increased GP visits, mental health care and presenting at A&E as a crisis, which could all be avoided with better investment and pro-active management. It is very difficult to get an appointment, appointments are postponed by many months, and once you arrive at the clinic waits are very long. I waited for over a hour for one appointment, only to be told staff did not have my notes and despite checking in I was not on the list to be seen. When I was eventually seen, my consultant was under the impression I was late and rushed my appointment that I had waited 6 months for. This took up half my day - detrimental to someone who is self-employed and suffers from a disabling neurological condition. On another occasion, my appointment was postponed to 5 months after the previous appointment - not the 6 to 8 weeks requested by my neurologist to review my new medication. This was incredibly distressing for me, because the medication can only be dispensed by the consultant within the hospital pharmacy, and without it I have a severely debilitating condition and am unable to work. What I need from the hospital is a joined-up, integrated approach to my care that avoids problems rather than creating extra ones on top of the condition that I am facing. It feels like I am always fighting against the system to get what I need. I would like commissioners to look at neurology patients and understand that if we can't be seen promptly by someone who can help us and address our problems, this will cost more money in the long run to other services. The staff are well-trained professionals, but services are not commissioned in a way that allows them to deliver the best care to their patients.