"Waiting List Nightmare"

About: Kettering General Hospital / Oral surgery

(as the patient),

Wisdom teeth pain has been the bane of my daily life for the past 2 and a half years. After being referred to the hospital from my dentist, it has been nothing but trouble! I've been waiting for nearly 2 years for an appointment to have them removed when I was originally told I would have to wait 6 - 9 months since I would be put under general anaesthetic.

The Head and Neck Waiting List staff have been less than helpful over the two year span; every time I've phoned, and continue to phone, nobody answers and I have to leave a voicemail, which gets no response anyway! On the odd occasion that a member of staff answers I'm greeted with, instead of sympathetic understanding and wanting to help me, arrogance and a lack of willingness to help.

Not only am I left being in pain and the feeling of guilt that I'm badgering staff, but also that I'm not worth anyone's in the hospitals or dentists time. Last month (March '15), I was over the moon to receive a letter confirming that I had an appointment at the Surgical Day Case Unit at the end of April. Finally!

I arrived on the day, after spending half of the night awake, trying to prepare myself mentally and rejoicing over the fact I soon would be no longer in pain, to find out from the receptionist that my appointment had been cancelled.

Apparently someone had tried to contact me to let me know however upon confirming that all the contact details they had for me were correct, I had received no such communication. This was extremely upsetting as it not only put me about but also my family, as I have 2 small children that needed to be looked after and my family rearranged work days and their own personal life to help me. A whole day for everyone wasted. And I'm still in pain.

I complained to the ward clerk and even one of the nurses who told me there was nothing they could do. The nurse also tried ringing the Head and Neck Waiting List staff who, funnily enough, didn't pick up. I was told to go home and wait to see if anyone who was due in for surgery did not turn up as then I would have their appointment space. I am yet to receive any phone call so I presume that today is not going ahead.

I have tried myself to call the Waiting List team, ringing and ringing, leaving voicemail after voicemail and still no response! This is very distressing for me as I feel like I will be forever waiting for an appointment, while in the meantime coping with the constant pain with strong prescription drugs, which concerns me as I don't want to get addicted!

How much longer must this go on for before someone helps me?

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Response from Sarah Thomas, Complaints Manager, Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for your comments. I am sorry to hear about what you are going through.

We would welcome the opportunity to try and help you through this experience. Please contact the Patient Advice & Liaison Service on 01536 493305 who will be able to investigate this further for you.

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