"How are delays in the system taken into account in a patients pathway?"

About: Royal Shrewsbury Hospital / Neurology Telford referral and quality service (TRAQS)

(as the patient),

Saw my GP in August who said I needed a head scan. Hadn't heard anything so in mid September I popped into GP surgery to be told that referral had been made and gave me a TRAQS leaflet and asked to contact them.

Phoned TRAQS to be told they had no referral on their system, they didnt deal with scans and to contact the hospital.

Phoned hospital (SaTH) to be told they had not had a referral and given another number (CCG? ) to phone. Phoned that number and told nothing to do with them try another number. Tried the other number and told nothing to do with them and to go back to GP. Phoned GP to be told I needed to speak to TRAQS again and gave me a CAB number. Phoned TRAQS again - told the CAB number had nothing to do with referral but they had received a referral from my GP in August! TRAQS told me that they had passed this referral to Alliance Medical and to phone them.

Phoned Alliance Medical to be told they had rejected my GPs referral at triage. Person I spoke to didnt know why and when asked if they had informed my GP was told that they would normally.

Went back to GP surgery to explain, receptionist checked my records - no communication from Alliance Medical. Receptionist would get GP to contact me. GP contacted me the next day and said that they would chase.

Several days later had a call from TRAQS saying that GP had referred me to see a Neurologist. Told all hospital had 6 to 12 weeks waiting list (but Ive already been waiting over 4 weeks for a scan! ! ! ! ! ) Put on PRH waiting list and told to contact TRAQS again if I had not heard anything in 6 weeks.

No word from PRH 6 weeks later so phoned TRAQS who offered appointment at RSH for November 2013 (utilising a cancellation otherwise Dec at PRH).

Just been for appointment to be told that a need a scan! It is now 13 weeks since my GP told me I needed a scan and I assume I am now at the bottom of the waiting list again.

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Response from Royal Shrewsbury Hospital

Dear A1234 We are very sorry to hear about the difficulties you have faced with TRAQS. This service is run by local GPs and we hope that they will respond to the issues you have raised about accessing a scan and in the communication about your referral. It sounds as though once you were referred to the services provided by our Trust that we did see you within 6 to 12 weeks, although it would have been helpful if an appointment date had been confirmed to you without you needing to contact TRAQS once again. We can fully understand how frustrating this must be for you, and we very much hope that now that you have seen one of our neurologists this is resolved for you as quickly as possible

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Response from Helen Handy, TRAQS & CAB Co-Ordinator, Telford and Wrekin CCG

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your experience.

I am disappointed to hear of your problems following your referral. Unfortunately there are very long waits for neurology appointments locally as you have experienced. This is unfortunately outside TRAQS control as we can only offer appointments which the hospitals have made available to us. Regarding an MRI scan, Alliance Medical offer a limited MRI service and as they manage all referrals in house I am afraid I cannot comment on the reason for their rejection of your referral. Although, I would have expected them to inform your GP of their reason for rejecting your referral.

I am pleased to note that you have now had your initial outpatients appointment and hope that you receive an MRI scan appointment shortly.

Thank you again for providing feedback to the TRAQS team as we appreciate all comments as they help us to develop and improve the service further.

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