"A service which expects patients to fit round the..."

About: The Great Western Hospital

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My son has been seen three times over the past year by three different staff, one of whom , a nurse, incorrectly dismissed his view that his medications were responsible for worrying and unpleasant symptoms. He is expected to have blood tests done monthly. This is difficult for he has to take time off work to get these done. Why not an evening service? Also there is no evidence base to support the view that the tests need to be done monthly; the last trust he was under arranged 3 monthly tests. No warning or explanation was given that a new test would involve him coming off one of his long term medications and that has caused him concern. He does not appear to have a care plan; something I understood was mandatory for patients with chronic disease. He is continually frustrated by being unable to e mail the department. Why is this not possible? Why does he not have access to e health records and be given the option to e mail his doctor ( which would or course entail making it clear who is doctor is) .

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Response from The Great Western Hospital

Thank you for your comments. I am really sorry that your son appears to have suffered worrying symptoms from his medication. We try to provide tailored care for each person we see, and, within safety limits, try to be as flexible as possible when arranging blood testing and clinic appointments. Unfortunately, there isn’t a blanket frequency for blood testing across the country. However, there are national guidelines from the British Society of Rheumatology which we take into consideration, along with Consultant preference, when planning a person’s blood testing frequency. If your son, or any other patient, has difficulty attending for blood tests, we will do all we can to accommodate a longer frequency within the safety limits of drug prescribing. You’ve also posted a number of concerns specific to your son's experience, which without knowing more, we wouldn’t be able to provide a response to. Darren Pearson, Deputy General Manager for our Diagnostics and Outpatients directorate would be happy to talk to you about any ongoing concerns and try to resolve the issues in your post. If you would like to discuss your concerns, Darren can be contacted by calling the Trust on 01793 60 40 20 and asking for him by name, or by emailing darren.pearson@gwh.nhs.uk

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