"Breakdown in communication about tests"

About: City Hospital campus / Gynaecology

(as the patient),

Following a hysterectomy in March 2009 at the Nottingham City hospital, I was advised that I would need to have a series of following smear tests but for how long was not communicated to me or my GP.

Following the return of my September 2012 smear test as unexamined to my GP, a practice nurse, Rhona, kindly undertook to really investigate why this had happened.

She found out that in Sept 2011 my GP wrote to the consultant in charge of my operation at The City Hospital (now part of the Queens University hospital trust) and he promptly wrote back to say that in his opinion, there was no need to continue having smear tests. This information was never passed on to me.

The consultant did attempt to contact me in September 2012 by phone before I knew about his letter the previous year. I wasn't in and he left a message saying that it wasn't urgent but to call back. I called the number every day for a week, several times and at different times, direct and via the switchboard and it was never answered. I couldn't even leave a message.

So I had several weeks of unnecessary worry, wasted my time and NHS resources.

I realise that this isn't a major issue in the scheme of things but it was the [hopefully] last straw in what was a very poor experience of my treatment leading up to and following my hysterectomy. This now falls outside the 3 year window required here as I was unaware of this feedback service before this autumn.

My point is about what appears to be a systemic lack of process to ensure that communication happens and in a timely manner.

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Response from Nottingham University Hospitals Trust

I can only apologise that you were unable to get through on the telephone number provided and for the distress this caused.

It would be helpful if we could speak directly so that I can get further details to better understand where you feel we fell short with your treatment when in our care. Should you wish to get in touch, you can contact me directly on 0115 9249924 x65823.

Ali Atkinson, Clinical Lead for Obstetrics & Gynaecology

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