"PCT Help and Advice"

About: Central Lancashire PCT

(as the patient),

I contacted the PCT to obtain further information after my GP referred me for gastric banding. I spoke to two different members of staff at the PCT one was very abrupt and I felt to intimidated to ask all the questions I wanted to ask. The second lady was very polite but for every question I asked like "when do they sit next" she replied "I don't know". They should have the answers to routine questions as I am sure I am not the only one left wondering what happens next.

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Response from Julie-Ann Bowden, Clinical Quality and Assurance Manager, NHS Central Lancashire

I am sorry if you felt that the first member of staff you spoke to was abrupt, and although the second staff member was polite, you must have been frustrated that the questions you were asking could not be answered. All cases that are referred to the PCT for consideration for funding are dealt with in clinical priority order. Gastric band requests over BMI 50 are fast tracked as the cases fit the criteria as set by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE. Other gastric band requests are dealt with as soon as possible, with the higher BMI's first, unless there are additional medical conditions that make them fit the clinical criteria as set by NICE. Dates for the commissioning panel that review funding requests are not usually given out as not all cases on the agenda may be heard - the list can be very long and cases that come in with high clinical priority will take precedence. The PCT will always write to the GP within 14 days of any funding decision. Your posting has been passed to the senior manager responsible for funding requests to make her aware of the issues you have raised. I realise that this process maybe frustrating for you but should you continue to experience difficulties in obtaining information, you can alternatively contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service at the PCT on 0800 032 24 24 or 01695 598259. Further information regarding the NICE Obesity clinical guideline can be accessed at www.nice.org.uk
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