"Communication within my NHS Trust area"
About: Princess Royal Hospital / Rheumatology Princess Royal Hospital Rheumatology RH16 4EX South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust Lewes BN7 2XW
Posted by Bob (as ),
I am unfortunate enough to have several disabilities. I have neurological problems, spinal problems, Rheumatoid Arthritis (and associated Auto-Immune problems) I have also had 3 battles with cancer in my lifetime. In short, I am a paraplegic and use a power wheelchair because RA has stopped my ability to propel a manual chair.
Getting to hospital is a nightmare for a large number of patients who, like me, rely on Ambulance Transport. Indeed, patients like me with a Chronic Health problem are often placed on the Ambulance Service computer as 'registered' permanently for transport for the multiple hospital visits I have each year. Unfortunately, after seeing my physicians/surgeons, I ask for them to request transport on the sheet they give me to make my next appointment. 9 times out if 10, this doesn't happen and I only find out when my appointment letter arrives in the post. If I call the hospital, Out-patients appointments staff have told me they can't help. The Ambulance Service Transport office tell me they can't help (even given that as I understand it they can see the permanent transport status on their computer applying to me). I must get a request from the clinic doctor who has in my experience often said it's not their problem as permanent transport has already been requested. This causes me a great deal of stress which then causes my RA to 'flare' and causes much physical pain.
The other communication issue I have is that because of the system employed at my hospital means that clinical notes dictated by my doctors are sent abroad (South Africa, I think) for typing up. The notes are then sent back to the clinic physician but my GP doesn't automatically get a copy. This means that unless I have reason to see a doctor at my local GP surgery (and I rarely do have such an appointment), My GP is in the dark. This means that medication/treatment recommended by my hospital doctors can be difficult to obtain from my GP.
And all of the above problems are down to two things in my opinion, verbal/written communication between hospital doctors and GPs.
Thanks for reading my gripe, I wonder if other people have similar difficulties?