"Lack of communication at Heald Green Health Centre"

About: Stockport PCT

(as a relative),

I am a tax payer in UK and I also contribute to NI besides paying all council taxes. This web site has not provided any option for providing an honest feed back on the operational issues touching the lives of people. Hence I am submitting my observation as follows.

1. I am registered at Heald Green health centre. I complained about a growth on my right hand. The centre was kind enough to send me for a scan which was done at Ultrasound Now Ltd last July. I have not heard anything ever after. I was orally told at the scanning centre that that there is nothing serious and no diagnosis could be made and further information will be given by Heald Green Health Centre only. My repeated enquiries revealed nothing.

Having referred me for the scan, is it not the duty of the health centre to inform the concerned patient what the report says? If the report is not received from the scan centre (which is a private organisation and must be charging the Govt for the cost of scan) is there no system of a follow up? Are the reports received and not disclosed to the patient?

2. My wife has some heart problems for a considerably long time and it was duly mentioned in the first registration (in the end of June or beginning of July 2008). No primary investigation was considered necessary. I had already informed that I have an insurance cover for me and my family so it would not have costed NHS to get it done. When she again complained of some pain in the upper chest we visited Heald Green Centre in December to be told that she will get a letter for visiting a hospital equipped with a cardiologist after an appointment was made for her. We heard nothing so far.

Last week when I contacted the centre over phone I was told that I have to get an appointment from Alexandra Hospital. I was never informed of this on phone or by letter at all. I was further told that I have to then inform the Heald green centre the name of doctor, date and time of appointment over phone. Then I have to visit the centre for collecting a sealed letter to be delivered to the Alexandra Hospital at the time of appointment. Since my wife is sick and is in danger I had no option but to comply with all their directions and instructions hence I did so.

Why the details including phone numbers are taken at the time of registration if these are not to be used? What if I do not contact the Heald Green Centre again? Why the wrong promises about sending letters? Why isn't an appointment with the Hospital fixed by the Helath Centre on its own? Why does someone have to visit to collect the letter. Why can it not be sent to the hospital with a copy to the patient? What if an emergency arises due to non-attendance to the problem, then becoming a media focused issue leading to investigations?

I submit this to a self-defending system and with no hope for any correction, but for the benefit of the record. I feel under the freedom of information I have a right to know answer to the questions I have raised hereby.

Staff at the counters in the health centre often seem to be sitting idle. Other officials who are supposed to be supervising them and working for the public welfare sit behind the security locked doors and are not accessible except by a letter or prior appointment to listen to feedback from visiting patients.

Why do they sit behind such closed doors: are they having any security threats? If one insists to see the officials on the spot it is alleged that the person is racist and his behaviour is not correct. The attitude there is that there is no fault with the systems or the way Health Centre is run, so no correction is required. It is only the suffering patient and their relatives who have to modify themselves to suit the staff and their systems and procedures. I have written evidence to prove some of this and the rest can be verified by the undisclosed investigations as a patient at the Heald Green Centre.

I thank the Health administration for asking for feedback on their format which I will submit separately. I know very well that the good ones will be utilised to glorify the services with the percentage data of satisfaction etc. The ones like this will be dumped somewhere. But if this kind of feedback is acted upon it will really glorify the NHS in the minds of the people and will create a cost efficient service in the long run.

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