"Claiming travel expenses made harder than it should be"

About: Inverclyde Royal Hospital

(as the patient),

Because I live way out in the sticks (on an island), I am entitled to claim help with travel expenses, for which a standard form is given to me and signed by my GP.

I need 2 signatures from the hospital to confirm that I turned up for my appointment. I then post off the form, with tickets and receipts, and await a cheque.

This is usually straightforward, but at Inverclyde Royal, where I went for an MRI recently, they appear to run their own system, claiming they had never seen my form before, and sending me all around the hospital looking for someone who would sign. Eventually I got one signature from reception, who then suggested the finance office.

The person I spoke to there was rude and unhelpful. They said other hospitals were doing it wrong, I had to submit all my evidence to them - for all they knew I could be trying to defraud the NHS for £200 - their figure, I hadn't calculated the amount. This was quite upsetting, particularly as I am (obviously) not in good health and an MRI is quite stress inducing.

Eventually I went back to the department and the radiologist signed it - which I'm sure is not her job. The whole fiasco took 45 mins - far longer than the MRI, and then I had to drive 138 miles home including 2 ferries.

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Response from Paul Cannon, Head of Administration, Acute Services Division, Greater Glasgow & Clyde NHS

I am so very sorry that you had so much difficulty with what should have been a very straight forward process, one that you appear to have had no difficulty with in the past, and I am very glad that you perservered in getting the signatures you needed.

I will draw this situation to the attention of local staff at the Hospital to ensure that the difficulties you experienced are not repeated.


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