"I could have spent several more weeks in pain"

About: Telford referral and quality service (TRAQS)

(as the patient),

I received a letter from TRAQS asking me to ring them to make an appointment. When doing so, I was advised that the earliest appointment was for early September. This was to be at the P. R. H. My initial option was to go to Maddocks at Madeley, who are very good. (I had treatment there 2 years ago. I was told Maddocks were fully booked until the middle of September. As I am in quite a bit of pain (left leg sciatica) I phoned Maddocks to arrange a private appointment.

I was told that I could come in that day. I arranged to go in the following day. The Doctor was disgusted as I had been told such lies. They spoke to TRAQS and was told I had been mistaken! ! When she gave me my treatment they told me I had been told correctly as she had another patient ring her after me, telling them that TRAQS had again said that Maddocks was fully booked. This is not on. I could have spent several more weeks in pain and others probably more! !

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

Dear Belt411

Thank you for providing the TRAQS team with feedback.

I am disappointed to read of your experience and can only apologise for the mis-information you were given. The Maddocks Physiotherapy Service provide TRAQS with a weekly update oto advise how soon they will be contacting patient to arrange an appointment. Routine referrals are currently contacted in 2/3 weeks and urgent referrals are contacted within 2 working days to arrange an appointment. This is the information we have been provided with by Maddocks and as far as I am aware this information is currently up to date. If the waiting times change then it is the responsibility of Maddocks staff to inform TRAQS of this. If Maddocks have advised you differently when you spoke to them I cannot explain their reasons for the change of waiting times provided to TRAQS.

We also offer appointments at PRH Physiotherapy department whose waiting time is currently the middle of September. I can only assume that the person you spoke to became confused, please accept my apologies on behalf of the team.

However, if TRAQS had sent your referral over to Maddocks for an NHS appointment you would have been contacted within the time frame for the priority and content of your referral and an appointment would have been arranged by Maddocks when they contacted you.

Thank you again for letting TRAQS know of your experience as we appreciate all feedback whether positive or negative as it will help us to effect change where necessary.

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Update posted by Belt411 (the patient)

Hi.... I made my own appointment with Maddocks for the following day, my notes were mailed over to them straight away. I believe Maddocks are not at fault here as the same information was given to a different patient the same day I initially rang. With the area the size that Telford is now, & having only two options available for physio, it's no wonder waiting times are so long and patients get frustrated. Why is the Physio unit at by the train station not available to patients via TRAQS?? Seems a waste to me.

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

Dear Belt411

As TRAQS is an NHS service we do not arrange private appointments for patients although we can arrange an NHS appointment with a Private Provider providing that the provider meets strict criteria and has a contract to provide a specific NHS service.

The physio unit you refer to is actually part of the Advanced Primary Care Service (APCS). TRAQS are unable to refer directly into this service for physio alone as it is used by the APCS team as part of a multi disciplinary treatment service and does not have the capacity to accept patient who require physio alone.

The wait for an appointment with the APCS team currently stands at over 12 weeks which is far longer than waiting for any other NHS physio appointment within the TRAQS area.

Thank you again for sharing your comments.

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