"5 month wait just to be seen"

About: Royal South Hants Hospital Treatment Centre

(as the patient),

I went to see my GP on 23 April following a knee injury. He said I would be referred to Soutampton University Hospitals (SUH). Unfortunately, the first referral went to the wrong hospital, but this error was soon rectified.

Just over a week ago (the Friday before last) after several phone calls I finally received a letter from SUH - telling me I needed to phone them to make the appointment. This I have done and my first appointment with the consultant will be in September, a whopping 5-months after my visit to the GP. I know there was a delay with the letter but I also know the date SUH received the referral and my appointment is 18 weeks after that date.

Interestly, when I mentioned the 18-week 'fairy tale to shorten waiting times' and the referral letter, SUH said the letter did not arrive until 3-weeks after its true date of arrival. I have proof to back up the dates. It would seem that for a patient to actually benefit from this new rule, they have to be living in the right postcode.

I have been back to my GP and made it clear that I am prepared to go to any hospital and I am happy to fill a short-notice cancellation appointment, but have been told that so far, there is no appointment sooner than September (and that in Winchester the wait is longer than SUH). Looks like for some of us shorter waiting lists are still just a dream.

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