"How long do I have to wait for urgent treatment?"

About: Southend Hospital

After an initial x-ray in October 2013 I've had appointments with GP and consultants and finally an MRI March 2014 regarding a miniscus tear in my knee (after sitting in the waiting room for 3 hours while the staff effectively ignored me and dealt with people who arrived after me for later appointments than mine). The consultant advised he would mark for urgent surgery to prevent it getting worse. Heard nothing and chased at the beginning of May, advised the surgeon only has theatre once a week but because of the pain and my circumstances I would be put on an urgent emergency list. Heard nothing and have chased again today, told I would be added to the surgery list that would be prepared at the end of July as the consultant had holidays coming up. I drive 200miles a day to get to/from work and am now in constant pain, I've told the staff at the hospital this and the woman I spoke to was unhelpful and bordered on rude. She said she would "see if another surgeon would do the operation for me before the end of July". I may be being stupid here but that does not sound like being put on an urgent emergency waiting list if I have to wait for the one surgeon to get back off his holiday to his one day a week theatre slots that someone may happen to cancel. I thought urgent emergency list would involve all surgeons who carry out that operation. The help I have had fom the admin staff at the hospital has been, to say the least, negligable and I am both in pain and unhappy and it is now starting to have a much bigger impact on my day to day life.

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Response from Southend Hospital

I am truly sorry to learn of the problems that you have experienced. This is not the service that we aspire to provide. We would be happy to help further and ask that you contact our PALS team who can liaise with the Orthopaedic Department for you. They can be e-mailed at pals@southend.nhs.uk or called on 01702 385333 Steve McEwen Patient Experience Lead

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