"Long waiting times and misinformation"

About: Royal Victoria Hospital (Edinburgh) Western General Hospital / General Medicine

(as the patient),

I developed a hernia at the beginning of January 2015. Towards the end of January I saw my GP and he said he would refer me for treatment, preferably at the western general hospital Edinburgh.. In June I received a letter stating that I was on the waiting list for St. Johns Hospital at Howden – General Surgery. I subsequently phoned to ask if I could be given any indication as to when I would be likely to be given an appointment. I was told that I was on the waiting list for July, I phoned again only to be told that I was no longer on the waiting list for July.

It is now been more than 7 months since January. I have yet to be given an appointment. My understanding of the targets for waiting times is: GP’s referral to first hospital appointment – 12/18 weeks, first hospital appointment to beginning of treatment – 12 weeks.

In June 2015 I had a Sigmoidoscopy at the Western General Hospital, Edinburgh. After the procedure I was informed that a small polyp had to be removed and would be sent to the laboratory for testing and a sample from a larger polyp had been taken and would also be sent to the laboratory. I was told that “in a few days” letters would be sent to myself and my GP giving information about the result of the laboratory results and about what further procedure would be required. I did not receive a letter until August 2015. There are inconsistencies between what is stated in this letter and the notes I received immediately after the Simnoidoscopy. I shall have to discuss this with my GP and at a further hospital appointment.

In the verbal and written information given to me immediately after the Sigmoidoscopy it was stated that any possible abdominal discomfort due to wind would not last for long. IN fact I had considerable discomfort later, so much so that my daughter arranged to take me to an out of hours consultation at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Edinburgh. On this second occasion the doctor who examined me said that he had known patients have discomfort for a week after bowel examination. In the light of my experience, I wrote a letter to the Department of Diagnostic Procedure at the Western General, suggesting that in the information given to patients it should be indicated that bowel discomfort could be quite prolonged. My letter has never been acknowledged.

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Response from Jeannette Morrison, Head of Patient Experience, NHS Lothian

Dear label331

I was so sorry to read of your experiences and l am concerned that you have not had an appointment for your hernia repair. If you would like to contact the Patient Experience Team (feedback@nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk or Tel 0.131 536 3370) they can look into this for you.

Thank you for giving us feedback in respect of patient information following a sigmoidoscopy and I was also sorry to read that you have not received an acknowledgement letter, this should have been acknowledged and l will raise this the Department of Diagnostics.

Kind regards

Jeannette Morrison

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