"How long to fix this problem?"

About: Southmead Hospital / Neurosurgery

(as the patient),

Whilst on holiday in Cornwall in September I developed severe pain in my shoulder blade which spread to my bicep and lower arm intermittently also my index finger and thumb went slightly numb

Upon return I eventually got an appointment with my gp. He didn't really say what it was. I was going through paracetamols and ibuprofen like they were going out of fashion. I was waking up 2-3 times in the night. The gp prescribed codeine which didn't do anything. I sought the gp again and he referred me for an mri scan. I contacted gp again and was told 10 days for an appointment. I eventually got an emergency appointment the next day.

The different gp on this occasion told me exactly what was wrong and prescribed gabapentine, 9 a day. This was working for the pain, plus valium at night, also he tried to speed up mri scan.

9 weeks later I had the scan and the results the same day, which was trapped nerve due to arthiritis in neck. I was referred to mats a triage clinic

Two weeks later I received a letter from mats stating I was being referred to neurosurgery dept, Southmead hospital, which is where my problems really started.

I contacted Southmead to see when I was likely to get an appointment They could not tell because I could not be put on the system because of a new "challenging" system. I rang Southmead 4 times a week for 3 weeks. All I got was we will call you back. 

Then after seeking advice from my gp, I rang again.  I was then immediately given an appointment saying "we have caught up now"?

This apointment is soon at Cosham. This seems to be at the mats clinic

I have now been off work for 3 months I need to get back to work and I seem to get the runaround big time not happy I only have 3 months sick pay left

And am now getting desperate as to how long it's taking to fix this problem.

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››


Response from Southmead Hospital

Dear Foggy – I am sorry that your experience has been so unsatisfactory. The Hospital introduced a new patient record system and this delayed routine appointments being scheduled and notified, but not urgent referrals which continue along with those routing appointments scheduled before the implementation period. As a result the level of outpatient clinic appointments continued much as normal. This leads me suspect that the appointment was not flagged as “urgent” by the GP, but regrettably I cannot check on this without more details. The GP and MATS service does not fall under the remit of the Trust and therefore I cannot comment on these. If you would like me to investigate further please contact the Trust and provide your personal details via complaints@nbt.nhs.uk and we will do all we can to assist.

Kind Regards – Steve Sykes

Advice and Complaints Team

  • Foggy doesn't think this response is helpful
    {{helpful}} of {{totalOthers()}} other people think it is helpful