"I don't feel I have been supported properly"

About: Western Isles Hospital / Rheumatology

(as the patient),

I had an apt in Jan 2015 to see rheumatologist- numerous requests as I have an ‘open‘ apt & still not seen by consultant, although diagnosed with inflammatory arthritis.

Numerous requests to see rheumatology Prac. Nurse hosp. to discuss my concerns using methotrexate, still, not seen. (Requests by me & letter from OT- no appointment)

As a patient of the Rheumatology service delivered by the NHS Western Isles I feel I have had personal queries & clinical skills (self-inject) massively ignored. I have been completely un-involved in my care & decision on my medication. Visiting Consultant uncontactable & unapproachable. I don’t feel I have been supported or properly clinically managed in my condition for the last 6 months.

Break down in communications between Rheumatology admin as referred letter from Consultant back to GP went missing & didn’t arrive at Medical Practice meaning a delay & break in my medication which exasperated my condition. No referred to OT- did it myself!

I feel NHS WIHS need to address the poor non-existent rheumatology service & commission a clinical safety, patient satisfaction quality review ASAP.

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Response from Denise Symington, PFPI Development Officer, NHS Western Isles

Dear Click177

We are very sorry to hear about your experience with our Rheumatology Service which we acknowledge has fallen below the standards we would wish to achieve for our patients.

Your Patient Story has focussed significantly upon issues you have had with Rheumatology appointments, we would like to explore this further with you and would like to invite you to provide us with additional information either through Patient Opinion or by contacting myself Denise Symington, Patient Focus Public Involvement, on 01851 708041 or on denise.symington@nhs.net.

We have been actively seeking a safe, sustainable and effective solution to the provision of healthcare to patients with rheumatological conditions. This has involved negotiation with several Health Boards in Scotland as well as looking at innovative solutions using telehealth.

I hope we are able to reassure you that there should be significant service improvements as we have now reached a solution with a partnership with Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS appointing a consultant rheumatologist who will act as the lead for NHSWI. In addition to regular visits to the Island we will also have access to a consultant Monday to Friday on a rota basis for advice. This will be available to GPs as well as the rheumatology nurse so will allow real time solutions for patient problems. All patients will be on a database that can be accessed by the staff in Glasgow so that accurate information including access to relevant results will be available at the time of decision making.

The new service will also provide monthly educational sessions for all staff as well as dedicated education for the rheumatology nurse and AHPs.

The new service is due to commence August 2015 and we are confident that this will provide a modern, reactive, evidence based solution for patients throughout NHS Western Isles.

Thank you for taking the time to contact us to tell us of your experience, we apologise sincerely for the issues that have affected our patients during this difficult time but are thankful we have now achieved a permanent solution. We hope that your future experience of this service reflects the improvements that we have sought to make.



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