About: Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Gateshead) Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Gateshead) Gateshead NE9 6SX
Posted by S*****6
What I liked
My complaint is about the Bowel Cancer Screening Department. See dates below of my fiasco:
10.10.12 - sent first test kit back.
13.10.12 - Received "unclear" result and asked to do a further test
16.10.12 - Sent second test kit back.
22.10.12 - Received second test result which was 'clear" and enclosed third test kit, despite their own policies/procedures that after an clear result I would be asked to do a third test in due course - not, methinks, by return of post!
26.10.12 - Returned third test kit.
So far, to date 6.11.12 I have received nothing, despite two phone calls. Apparently they sent out the results of the 3rd test on 2nd November, but today 6.11.12 I have not received them.
I told the phone operator that I suffer from chronic IBS and getting a test alone is a task in itself, obviously. My stress levels for the past month are off the scale and it's now affecting my sleep. He only repeated that the results had been sent out and they would re-send them. I asked for a Manager who could give me the results (as I have all my personal details etc and don't see the problem). Guess wot - no manager on site - Rubbish! I have worked in NHS all my life and there is always a manager on site. So then I told him that if he could re-print off the letter to be re-sent to me, he could give me the results - Response: (and I quote) - The request gets sent to the post room, who print off the letter and send it out to you!
So let me get this straight - my personal medical information can't be given to me, but it can be sent to the Post Room. Where's the confidentiality in that then?
At the end of all this, there is a brilliant paragraph stating "Bowel Screening does not guarantee detecting bowel cancer" So why is this programme in existence then ?
And they go on TV advocating the Bowel Screening programme. Not likely!
What could be improved
Attitude of telephone staff.
Ensure a Manager is on site (I was told there was no manager on site) to deal with personal/confidential/emotional matters such as cancer screening.
Training Cancer Screening staff to be more sympathetic to callers who are obviously in distress.
Makes me wonder if it's worth continuing with the Bowel Screening programme. You specifically state that even after all the tests, it is not guaranteed to detect bowel cancer, so why put people through all this stress?