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Author Topic: Shocking NHS blunder....complaint, venting my anger, anyone else had problems  (Read 1314 times)

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Offline Marantha

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I am completely gutted and angry at the NHS, I have ended up having to make an complaint.  I just cannot believe what they did to me.

Basically, I have been on a hospital waiting list for over 24 weeks now, I was due to have surgery about 30 miles away and in the first week in March, I was told my this chap who worked in the orthopeadic admissions department that all there waiting times/lists were a right mess and he was sorry I have waited this long.  I was rang by the PCT 2 weeks ago and asked if I wouldnt mind transferring to a nearer hospital, I stated to them that I would only transfer if my operation was at the same time as the current hospital I WAS with, they stated 'Yes, that I would have my surgery in the closer hospital in the first week in March' so, obviously I though great, I have nothing to lose and this hospital is so much closer.

Anyway, obviously March is about 2 weeks away and I havent heard anything, so, I rang the PCT and said I am due to have my surgery in the first week in March but I havent heard anything.  They gave me my new hospitals number to ring so, I rang it and was told there was NO way that my surgery will be in March and that its more like April or even longer, they said that the PCT should NOT have given times and they mislead me into transferring to free up this hospitals waiting times.  also am not the first this has happened too...

Not only that but they cannot find my X-rays....

The problem is that am in constant pain dya in day out (I do get my good days but they are hard to come by).

I am that shocked they did that too me, I feel so used and to be honest really vulnerable.

Sorry, I just want to vent a bit of anger and am really upset too...I just like Ive waited since August last year for this, and thats hard when your in pain...
2009 Physio
30/10/2009 OS appointment confirmed patella tilt, very hypermobile, and a rare bone deformity called hypoplastic medial femoral condyle.
10/03/2010 LR preformed and chondromalacia grade 1 spotted

Offline Cosmicsnuffle

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Hi Marantha,

So sorry to hear that you too are caught in the machinations of the NHS. When it works it can be fantastic, but when it fails it has such MASSIVE implications on people's lives. My first post on Knee geeks was just like yours - pure frustration.....

OK - I'm no expert but here are the routes I have used. Go back to your GP. Complain. Be assertive, be calm - but be clear that you won't be short changed. Your GP may be able to precipitate things for you.
Do you have the number of your specialist at the new hospital and the original one (it may be the same specialist at both hospitals).... call the specialist, make your situation known to them, they seem to have more sway on dates/admissions.
Speak to NHS direct - they may be able to help you with your options.
Complain (written complaint) to the PCT - they need to know that things aren't happening as they should.

There is an NHS directive that states patients should be treated within 18 weeks of referral (when the specialist receives the referral from the GP)......quote it if you need to.

http://www.18weeks.nhs.uk/Content.aspx?path=/What-is-18-weeks/patient

Don't be afraid to let people know that a) you are in constant pain b) the process has let you down... and that the situation is unacceptable. You may find in your communications that there is one person who is particularly effective at liaising - it may be useful to ask if they will be your contact point (mine is my OS secretary!).

I know what you mean about feeling vulnerable - I am usually independent, assertive and headstrong, I have a scientific background and an inquiring mind.... but navigating the NHS path to diagnosis and treatment has left me feeling frustrated and ineffective. Don't give up, make sure they know your name. Call, call , call again. Call every day if that's what it takes. Call twice a day. Be politely persistent. It's your knee, your life that is being compromised and it needs to be sorted.

I bumped into a retired NHS manager in a hospital lift one day when I had hopped to the hospital to track down my MRI results which no-one claimed to have.....he had worked in orthopaedics - his advice to getting seen more quickly was ..... to call the OS secretary and cry on the phone!..... Luckily I didn't need to get to that level, but I certainly felt like it a times.

Incidentally, what is your injury/surgery?


Stay strong - try to focus on moving this forward....hugs, let us know how you get on.....
Oct 04 - torn meniscus
Dec 05 meniscal trim and debridement
Sep 09 torn ACL, kissing contusions, knee locked 30-60o
Jan 10 ACL stump debrided, lateral parrot beak meniscal tear trimmed
May 10 ACLr (Hamstring)
Aug 11 mfx (focal lesion lateral femoral condyle)
Jun 14 100k walk London-Brighton 28hrs

Offline ipswich1984

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You sound like I did a couple of years ago.

I had been having knee trouble for some time, I returned to my GP and they referred me for physio which didnt help so I was referred back to see my previous OS.
However when the hospital got my referral they treated me as a new patient and referred me to another clinic to be triaged. When I went for this appointment at this clinic they said I shouldnt have been there as I had previously been seen by an OS for my knee problems. This was August 2008, I then had to wait until Oct 2008 to see the OS.

I was added to the waiting list for a TTT and was told with the 18 weeks I should be operated on by start of February.

It got to January and I still hadnt heard anything, I phoned my OS's secretary and was told because of cancellations I was looking at April now.

I decided that as I had already waited longer than I should have done after the initial mix up with the referral I would make a complaint. I tried complaining to the hospital but didnt really get anywhere other than an apology for the mix up.

In my job I see a lot of MP's complaints which then result in them being dealt with straight away, so I tried that and within 2 weeks of doing this I was given a date at the start of March.

I know its not the best way of resolving things but I had got to the stage where the pain was unbearable and I was contantly miserable. Stick with it and I am sure you will get sorted soon.
November 2005 - Arthroscopy RK.
December 2006 - LR RK.
Febuary 2008 -
RK Subluxation. Back to physio.
October 2008 -
Put on waiting list for TTT/LR.
Told I have Hypermobile joints.
March 2009 -
TTT/LR RK.
11th Jan -
OS agreed removal of screws
5th Feb 2010 -
TTT/LR scheduled for LK

Offline Marantha

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Thank you all.

I have got PALS involved and I should hear back by Firday on what will be done about this.  I am still in shock to be honest.

I am going to have a LR done but I was told I will have a completely different surgeon now I have transferred so, I will have to go through the whole process again.

I suffer from a tilted patella, I also have a bone problem Hypoplastic.....its a long word basically my femur bone at the botton which is where is patella is, is slightly deformed..  I also have hypermobility.

I want something to be done to be honest.  I have a holiday in May and have to travel hours in a car to get there and if my op in at the end of April then that will be so painfull....

I mean I am worried in case they turn around and say that what I wrote didnt happen but I have all the evidence...also its not logical to transfer to another hospital when my surgery will take longer if you understand.  If I had known this there is no way I would have transferred....

I will make a doctors appointment because the pain is majority of the time unbarable...



2009 Physio
30/10/2009 OS appointment confirmed patella tilt, very hypermobile, and a rare bone deformity called hypoplastic medial femoral condyle.
10/03/2010 LR preformed and chondromalacia grade 1 spotted

Offline ohsobright

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Hi Marantha,,
    sorry to hear the awful time you've had. Agree with Cosmic and Ipswich, you must complain. Unfortunately the NHS is now focussed on waiting times/numbers/bums on seats/bodies on scanners and operating tables. If anyone is found to be breaching their waiting time all hell breaks loose. They do not want any adverse publicity either so shout loudly.
Re losing your x-rays, unless the department has very old fashioned equipment all x-rays are now computerised so at a few clicks of the mouse yourimages should be accessible. Only if they are "hard copy" in an envelope is there a likliehood of mislaying them but again, should have been "logged out" by the x-ray staff.
Hope all goes well from now on, thinking of you.
14/12/09 slipped, Lt TPF, spiral # tibia, # fibula,# disloc patella,lig ruptures.
17/12/09 ORIF, bone graft.
21/12/09 discharged full leg backslab NWB
30/12/09 staples out full cast NWB.
20/1/10 cast brace NWB
22/2/10 PT
3/3/10 Cast off, PWB
31/3/10 WB with cane
23/6/10 FWB

Offline Marantha

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Thank you, I will let everyone know tomorrow what this outcome of my complaint.  Im getting a bit nervous to be honest.  I just want what is best if I have to see another surgeon yes, my previous surgeon requested that I have a LR but this next surgeon might not request anything...

Even though I am being transferred to another hospital to have the surgery.

I just still cannot get my head around why they have did this (conned me), as I work with the NHS bot in my professional job and my voluntary job.

Lol...

Anyway i'll write back tomorrow.
2009 Physio
30/10/2009 OS appointment confirmed patella tilt, very hypermobile, and a rare bone deformity called hypoplastic medial femoral condyle.
10/03/2010 LR preformed and chondromalacia grade 1 spotted

Offline ipswich1984

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Fingers crossed for you, I know how you feel being in pain and being messed about.

Hope you get the outcome you want.
November 2005 - Arthroscopy RK.
December 2006 - LR RK.
Febuary 2008 -
RK Subluxation. Back to physio.
October 2008 -
Put on waiting list for TTT/LR.
Told I have Hypermobile joints.
March 2009 -
TTT/LR RK.
11th Jan -
OS agreed removal of screws
5th Feb 2010 -
TTT/LR scheduled for LK

Offline Cosmicsnuffle

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Hi Marantha,

I don't think anyone in the NHS is deliberately trying to con you. I do think that there are a lot of processes and bureaucracy that hinder the progress of diagnosis and treatment.

I know it is hard to be constructive when you are feeling so frustrated and in pain - but try to focus on achieving the outcome you want, not dwell on the mis-administration which appears to have occurred.

To that end I would look at your "action list" as being two fold:

1) to write a constructive complaint to your PCT - if PALS are already involved they will be able to tell you how to go about it - I believe they even have a proforma complaint form. Make the complaint short and to the point - summarise the problems (NHS 18 week treatment deadlines not met, inconsistencies in care, lack of communication etc) and them state what resolution(s) you would like. Then, if you would like to add some more meat to the bones, list the order of events as supporting evidence.

2) Have a plan of action to contact relevant people (specialist secretaries, admissions dept at your relevant hospital, GP) to move your case forward.

Unfortunately you cannot change what has happened so far, but you can use it to move forwards - and also to let the PCT know that things aren't happening in their system as they should (and maybe believe them to be!!!).

...and you know.... having a second opinion isn't always a bad thing - so this may actually turn out in your favour :-).

Hugs :-)
Oct 04 - torn meniscus
Dec 05 meniscal trim and debridement
Sep 09 torn ACL, kissing contusions, knee locked 30-60o
Jan 10 ACL stump debrided, lateral parrot beak meniscal tear trimmed
May 10 ACLr (Hamstring)
Aug 11 mfx (focal lesion lateral femoral condyle)
Jun 14 100k walk London-Brighton 28hrs

Offline Marantha

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Thanks for your response,

I have had a phone call back from PALs, everyone agrees that some sort of process has failed and all I want from my complaint is for them to review there procedures/polocies and see what can be improved.

I have had a verbal appology and that is good enough for me to be honest.  Am happy that they release something has went completely wrong and they will start and investigation soon to see what it was that went wrong in the process.

I really hate to complain though, I am very fair and a good person so, complaining was the last thing on my mind.  for example my day job is office based but my voulantary job is to save peoples lifes...
2009 Physio
30/10/2009 OS appointment confirmed patella tilt, very hypermobile, and a rare bone deformity called hypoplastic medial femoral condyle.
10/03/2010 LR preformed and chondromalacia grade 1 spotted

Offline Marantha

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Hugs to you all xx
2009 Physio
30/10/2009 OS appointment confirmed patella tilt, very hypermobile, and a rare bone deformity called hypoplastic medial femoral condyle.
10/03/2010 LR preformed and chondromalacia grade 1 spotted