"Lack of information over waiting times"

About: Northampton General Hospital (Acute) / Pain Management

(as the patient),

In December I had a nerve block carried out at pain clinic. I was told that this would typically wear off in six months and I would need to return to have it repeated.

At the start of May I rang to ask for another appointment and I was told someone would look at my notes and contact me. Six weeks later I had heard nothing so rang the clinic for an update. I was told that they were still waiting for my notes to be checked before being added to the waiting list for treatment.

I asked how long this process would typically take and was told that it is impossible to give me an answer. I asked '3 months, 6 months, 2 weeks? Any indication? ' The response was 'no' - no idea at all. I then asked if it was weeks or months. The response I received was 'I wish I could say weeks but it isn't'. Again, not even a vague idea of how long this process will take.

I'm not complaining about the wait itself. I appreciate that there are other priorities and work pressures that are more demanding than my nerve block. I am unhappy about the complete lack of any idea of a time frame of how long this process should take. I work within the NHS and know that waiting lists are clearly accessible to provide patients with an expectation as to when they will be seen.

If the response had been that I have to wait a year, that would have been more satisfactory than the lack of information that I was given. I contacted PALS at the end of June who told me that someone would contact me regarding my appointment. No one contacted me.

I have rung again today to check on the progress of my appointment. Three months later my notes are still waiting to be checked by a nurse before a decision is made on my treatment and being added to another waiting list. Again, I was not given any indication of how long this would take.

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