"I'm at my wits end"

About: Aberdeen Royal Infirmary / Cancer Services (Medical Oncology)

(as the patient),

I went to gp she tested me blood came back with lympocite number increase. monday good responses there

so we checked are we urgent referral yes i was told

we got the haematologist letter monday 7 days later and its the first available appointment is late November. that’s from test going in one week to reply, but then to give to give me 3 months ( ok they say 12 weeks for nhs )

why the maximum?  that wait surely is unacceptable if its life threatening as it seems to be on websites -- action required now not just seen in 12 weeks

tried phoning consultant but was rudely told not to call them as they are busy --and support only patient undergoing chemotherapy

oh well thats is not suitable i realise they are busy -i was polite surely there is a ten minutes to to take a sample and send to lab rather than wait --or an assistant to hand it onto --ie registrar? ?

im at my wits end and in pain so worry is adding to my discomfort

this was aberdeen royal infirmary --also why do they keep their number so secret so that we cant contact them --surely under nhs we are entitled to be seen and spoken to as soon as the condition shows up, not 3 months later when we would be further down a period of cancer spread --if it’s the fast one ok may be the slow one but we don’t know that without test should be booked in for test right away -- surely blood can be looked at to see even if which cells are affected and get onto oncologist right away.

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Response from Cameron Matthew, Divisional General Manager, Clinical Support Services Division, NHS Grampian

picture of Cameron Matthew

Thank you for getting in touch via Patient Opinion. I am very sorry your experience has not met our own or your expectations of the service. I hope the response below will assure you that we take feedback and issues raised very seriously.

All referrals are vetted by a Consultant Haematologist. When urgent referrals that are downgraded a letter is written to the GP to explain why. This is not uncommon as GPs often do not have a highly specialist understanding of blood disorders. Patients who have a suspicion of acute leukaemia or high grade lymphoma on a blood film are seen very rapidly, often within 24 hours of the blood test. The information available will have made a routine appointment appropriate in this case.

We have shared your experience with the senior clinical and managerial team involved and they will use it to ensure communication with patients and GP's in future provides very realistic expectations of what path a patient's journey is likely to follow.

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