"Urgent referral"

About: The Princess Royal Hospital (Telford)

I am absolutely and thoroughly disappointed with the level of service provided to me as a n outpatient waiting for an urgent appointment. When I saw the lovely kind and thoroughly professional GP last Thursday after being on an enormous amount of pain, I was advised that I would be referred to a breast surgeon and the appointment should take place within two weeks, as these is the guideline for urgent referrals. Since last Friday I have on dozens of occasions tried to contact the referral team or indeed anyone able and willing to help me establish when the appointment is expected to take place, but so far I am yet to receive the said appointment. Yesterday at around 4:30 I managed to speak to a man claiming to be from referral but after taken all my personal details he told me he could not help me and that someone would call me today. By 1pm I had not heard anything, so I again after another half dozen unsuccessful or simply unanswered call, spoke to a lady who told me that I will be offered an appointment on the 24 of February, which is 18 days and therefore goes beyond the two weeks. She told me she would call me again later with the details, but yet again I am still waiting. I am in absolute pain, but for the staff at princess royal hospital is just a joke! I am just a paper file a non existent being interfering with their chats and coffee breaks, their busy lives that obviously have nothing to do with patient care. The problem really is that, should, God forbids, something be really serious with my condition, the wasted time and stress will have served to not only aggravate it, but to also have added unnecessary stress and lack of respect and confidence on the service. When are hospital staff going to learn that they are not doing patients any favours, they are thee to care and if they cannot do it there should be appropriate Management to train staff or deal with them as other institutions would dealt in case of poor and regardless customer services.

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Response from The Princess Royal Hospital

Thank you so much for taking the time to contact us about your experience of your referral to the Princess Royal Hospital. Please accept my sincere apologies that you have faced what sounds like such a frustrating experience. There are clearly ways in which the NHS can improve, and I hope that this has already been resolved for you. Unfortunately the NHS Choices system does not share your contact details with us so I am very sorry that I am not able to contact you direct to discuss this further. I would therefore strongly encourage you to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) service to help you look into this. More information can be found on our website at http://www.sath.nhs.uk/patients-and-visitors/pals or you can ring them on 01952 282888 or visit them in person at their office near the main entrance of the Princess Royal Hospital. PALS aims to: - advise and support patients, their families and carers. - provide information on NHS services - listen to your concerns, suggestions or queries - help sort out problems quickly on your behalf ---------------------- Now, the most important thing is to call PALS so that we can get this sorted out. But, I would also like to discuss some of the other issues you have raised. You mention in your message about difficulties in contacting the "referral team". In most cases this referral team is actually a service called TRAQS that is run by your local GPs and is not part of the hospital (is it their 01952 580441 referral line that you have been ringing?). If so, then I know that they would be very grateful if you would contact them direct to discuss your concerns about their service. You can find more details about the TRAQS service on their website at http://www.telfordccg.nhs.uk/traqs-telford-referal-and-quality-services including information about their PALS service at http://www.telfordccg.nhs.uk/pals I hope you won't mind me taking some issue with such generalisations about NHS staff. The significant majority of people I have worked with in the NHS are caring, compassionate, courageous and absolutely focused on doing their best for patients. I know that it can feel otherwise when as a patient or relative/carer we are trying to reach someone at a time of anxiety ... but I find it a privilege to work alongside many wonderful people here who know that their livelihood depends on the people we are here to serve - you, the patient. Through this NHS Choices comments form I hope that I have been able to provide some suggestions that will help to resolve this. I would also like to thank you, as comments like this provide really useful real examples for our customer care training and to reinforce the new framework values that have been developed by frontline staff across the Trust - Proud To Care, Make It Happen, We Value Respect, Together We Achieve. It definitely sounds like your customer care experience hasn't lived up to these values, but by giving first hand examples of what our patients expect and deserve we will get there. Thank you Adrian Osborne, Communications Director

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