"Lack of Information & referral waiting times"

About: Southmead Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as the patient),

I've been seeing doctors (Shirehampton Health Centre) about swelling, pain and stiffness in my index finger since January 2013. The problems started around October 2012 but I thought it would go away.

The first doctor gave me some anti inflammatorys- these did not work. So I went back in February. Then I was offered blood tests & an x ray. I waited almost 4 - 5 weeks for the doctor to interpret the blood results. I called almost everyday for a week to be told she hadn't looked at them yet & in the end a gp on call backs would do it for me. I asked the receptionist what the bloods were for and she wasn't sure only I had a high plasma velocity and the rest were negative.

I then made another appointment in April and was told I needed a blood serum test & referral to MATS as the doctor suspects an auto immune disease.

At the blood test I asked the nurse what the test were for and she said she didn't know as they were quite fancy.

After 2 weeks the tests came back negative but the receptionist couldn't tell me what for as she didn't know.

After 5 weeks I've heard nothing about a referral. I've called my surgery today to be told initally there was a 4 week typing delay. I asked her to check if I had been done. the secretary then informed me the doctor has not done the referral & she would look into this and get this sorted in the next few days. I then asked about the further waiting times- she told me I will need to wait a few more weeks before ill even be offered either an appointment or opportunity to make an appointment. As we all know, this appointment won't be immediately probably in the next few weeks more, likely 6 weeks.

Needless to say I'm very upset & disheartened in the hopes that I will find out what is wrong with my finger anytime soon. I'm also very angry at the service I've received so far and that I've had to still be in pain while nothing has been done. I now will have to wait without treatment before anyone will even deal with me. This is appauling.

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Response from Steven Sykes, Advice & Complaints Team Manager, North Bristol NHS Trust

Dear Mummyof2 - thank you for posting you comments about your poor experience on the patient opinion website. I am sorry that you have had a problem with your referral for your MATS appointment.

I apologise for any part North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT) has played in the communication difficulties that have delayed your test results, but unfortunately it is not clear from what you say whether the delay in understanding these was a problem for NBT or the GP. Regrettably the issue you detail relating to the delay in typing your referral seems to lie with your GP surgery. Understandably, Southmead hospital can only process your referral once it has been received.

If you are able to supply more information and your personal details we would be happy to see if we can assist you further. Please send these to complaints@nbt.nhs.uk. Alternatively if you require more information about any problems at your GP surgery you will need to contact them directly or you can complain via the following link http://www.england.nhs.uk/contact-us/complaint/

Kind Regards

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Response from Southmead Hospital

Dear Mummyof2 - please see the response posted on the Patient Opinion website where you comments were first published. Kind Regards - Steve Sykes Advice and Complaints Team

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