"Urgent Rheumatology appointment waiting times."

About: East Surrey Hospital

(as the patient),

5 weeks ago I was struck down with an unexplained illness, unable to work or function properly and after many visits to the GP and the walk in centre in the early hours of the night I am still waiting for an urgent Rheumatology referral appointment. I was told by appointments bookings that the wait is 6 to 8 weeks for urgent referral's and 18 weeks for non urgent. I am shocked of the prospect of waiting that long and not being able to work. I am wondering why there is such a long waiting list and if all NHS hospitals are the same.

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Response from Cathy White, Patient Experience Lead, Patient Experience Team, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear Kei,

I am sorry to hear about your frustration. Our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) may be able to assist you with understanding the referral process and waiting time. They can be contacted by emailing: pals@sash.nhs.uk or calling 01737 231 958. The office is staffed between 9.30am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday.

Kind regards,

CAthy White

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Update posted by kei (the patient)

Many thanks to Helen from PALS,

for her understanding and support. I am all sorted now and the pain is slowly improving. Thank you so much for your care, input and help.