"Investigating a health concern"

About: NHS Fife

(as a relative),

This is a still ongoing story. My mum is having a combination of symptoms which the doctor cant explain. The regular blood tests for example, have been done several times. Doctor wants to know what is going wrong but it is an extremely painful process because trying to send my mum for different specific or more in depth tests is not very accessible to my mum or her doctor, who seems to struggle to work with NHS Fife guidelines to get her a solution and help her and us as a family to have a better quality of life. She has been getting worse the past 4 months.

Accessing the tests and investigation you need should be easier and quicker. That way, waiting queues at A &E would also be shorter, as people seem to go there with sudden symptoms that perhaps are related to an ongoing concern that has not yet been fully investigated.

Ambulance staff have visited my mum on a few occasions and they are very caring, but they don't give you much advice, when perhaps they should take you in and report with a doctor, so you can get the tests you need before the doctor can see you, having all the information ready, making communication easier, rather than telling your story several times to different people.

Remember sometimes the patient will know how bad they feel and how urgent they need help and why. Don't doubt them. GPs deserve more of a say in how the NHS can improve.

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Response from Louise Ewing, Patient Relations Manager, NHS Fife

picture of Louise Ewing

Dear Marianela

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your mother's recent experience. It is very frustrating not to be able to get to the bottom of a problem quickly and I was sorry to hear of the difficulties in accessing tests/investigations. I would be happy to chat through the specifics with your mother directly or with you, with your mother's consent, to see if there is anything that can be suggested.

You have highlighted a very important issue about patients accessing the appropriate service and we have been doing alot of work over the winter months to raise awareness of the other options available for people accessing services.

The other point you make is about having to provide repeated information and again this is something that we recognise as frustrating. We are currently reviewing the ways in which we communicate to try and streamline this and ultimately avoid the repetition you describe.

If you would like to chat this through, please feel free to contact me directly. My number is 01592 648069.

Thank you once again for taking the time to post.

Kind Regards

Louise Ewing

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Update posted by Marianela (a relative)

Thanks Louise,

I believe it might help everyone if we help you getting things right the first time, I will definitely give you a call before Tuesday (working now), whilst my father looking after my mum and my brother;s turn tomorrow)

I do appreciate you took the time to read this and want to help.

thank you