Advertisement - Hide this advert





Author Topic: NHS waiting list nightmare - how to get it sorted  (Read 4990 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline linksys77

  • MICROgeek (<20 posts)
  • *
  • Posts: 13
  • Liked: 0
NHS waiting list nightmare - how to get it sorted
« on: July 10, 2012, 05:11:34 PM »
Hello everyone!!

I'm looking for some advice from people who have had to deal with the nightmare that are NHS waiting lists.

My story so far:

Twisted my knee in a rugby game (Oct. 2011) and went to Minor Injuries unit a few days later as knee was still very sore and swollen. Nurse practitioner diagnosed a simple sprain.

Five weeks later my knee was still sore and stiff and very weak, so went to see my GP who told me to give it another three weeks.

No improvement 10 weeks after injury happened, went to see my GP again who then finally referred me to OS consultant.

Finally got to see OS consultant on Feb 1, 2012. Took him 10 seconds to diagnose ACL tear. Decision was made to go ahead with surgery.

Some point in March I get a letter with date for surgery (19 July).

On 5 July, I got a call from waiting list co-ordinator asking if I could come in for surgery on the same day as they had a cancellation. I wasn't even in the same country at the time so I sadly had to decline the offer. But promised I would still be able to have my surgery on the original date (19th July).

Four days later (yesterday) I get a call from the same person to tell me that my operation has now been cancelled because my OS is on annual leave!!!


I just couldn't believe it. How could they not know that the surgeon would be on his annual leave two weeks before he was due to perform an operation? I have now been on the waiting list for 23 weeks, well above the 18 week target. I have no idea when I'm going to be able to have my surgery as the haven't been able to give me a new date.

What shall I do? I doubt that a formal complaint will speed things up. But I have read somewhere that the NHS have to fund private treatment for people that have not been able to be treated within 18 weeks from referral. Does anyone have experience with this sort of problem?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2012, 01:42:55 PM by linksys77 »

Offline John42

  • SuperKNEEgeek
  • *****
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 18072
  • Liked: 211
  • Complete Ruptered Patella Tendon 9 Jan 2003
    • Chat with SylviaK4221
Re: NHS waiting list nightmare - help!!
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2012, 05:29:39 PM »
Would suggest that you contact your PCT - You have not mentioned which prt of the country you live?

Take care

JohnK/ Manchester UK
Ruptured Patella Tendon January 9 2003
Slipped on black ice.  Manchester UK

Complete Ruptured Tendon

Offline linksys77

  • MICROgeek (<20 posts)
  • *
  • Posts: 13
  • Liked: 0
Re: NHS waiting list nightmare - help!!
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2012, 05:39:19 PM »
Hi John,

Thanks for your reply. I live in South Gloucestershire but my postcode falls within the North Bristol NHS area. I have already spoken to the PALS people, they were very sympathetic but couldn't really help me. Also they haven't mentioned the possibility to get funding for private treatment either. Maybe that's no longer an option?

Offline John42

  • SuperKNEEgeek
  • *****
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 18072
  • Liked: 211
  • Complete Ruptered Patella Tendon 9 Jan 2003
    • Chat with SylviaK4221
Re: NHS waiting list nightmare - help!!
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2012, 06:51:18 PM »
I would suggest that you are wasting your time going through the PALS route - you need to go to the highest authority, and that is the PCT who run the hospital authorities.

Can only suggest, that you contact the PALS office again, requesting which PCT office they report to.   Any avenue is better than doing nothing.

JohnK/ Manchester
Ruptured Patella Tendon January 9 2003
Slipped on black ice.  Manchester UK

Complete Ruptured Tendon

Online Vickster

  • Administrator
  • SuperKNEEgeek
  • *****
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 4728
  • Liked: 390
  • Neelie knee!
Re: NHS waiting list nightmare - help!!
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2012, 06:59:44 PM »
Here's the North Bristol Trust http://www.nbt.nhs.uk/about-us/contact-us  Assuming it's one of the two listed hospitals?

I don't understand how they cannot give youi a different date?  Is there a different Consultant who can operate?

Good luck :)
Came off bike onto concrete 9/9/09
LK arthroscopy 8/2/10
2nd scope on 16/12/10
RK arthroscopy on 5/2/15
Lateral meniscus trim, excision of hoffa's fat pad, chondral stabilisation
LK scope 10.1.19 medial menisectomy, trochlea microfracture, general tidy up

Offline ricoshay

  • MINIgeek (20-50 posts)
  • **
  • Posts: 49
  • Liked: 0
Re: NHS waiting list nightmare - help!!
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2012, 07:10:41 PM »
Oh, I feel for you on this one....

The NHS wheel of fortune turns once again - and it is possible that they have 're-set' your 18 weeks now because you weren't able to make the cancellation. It really sucks. (Radio 4 did an investigation on this recently, it was quite alarming)

Have you been advised about Choose and Book? No one at the NHS told me about it, I got the info from a private clinic! But you can pick where you have the operation, and that means you can find somewhere with a shorter waiting list. In short, go on to the NHS website and find Choose and Book. Then create a shortlist of hospitals (some will be private, but do NHS procedures, crazy, I know) based on competency, accessibility and waiting times. You then get your GP to refer you to the one you select, see the OS there and join their (shorter) waiting list.

Having waited 2 weeks from scan to seeing the consultant (I phoned them daily to speed it up!), then having to wait a further 6 weeks to see a consultant that did knees (how I was sent to one that didn't, I'll never know), to the be told I'd have to wait another 18 weeks for my surgery, I picked a different hospital, saw a lovely surgeon 10 days later and was booked in for 6 weeks after that. Plus the surgeon that I used was carrying out revision surgery to correct the work that the original surgeon who was going to operate on me had done! A lucky escape I think.

I hope this helps a bit. In terms of the complaint, I wish you the best of luck, but past experience (botched A&E admission and subsequent diagnosis) taught me that the ranks close very quickly. I'd focus your energy on getting somewhere else, and lots of pre-hab to get you ready for surgery.

Good luck,let us know how you get on!

Offline linksys77

  • MICROgeek (<20 posts)
  • *
  • Posts: 13
  • Liked: 0
Re: NHS waiting list nightmare - help!!
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2012, 10:31:27 PM »
Thanks for your replies everyone. They weren't able to give me a new date as the OS's secretary is off sick (probably due to all the stress of meeting waiting list targets). I think the main problem is that my OS has demanded that he do the operation himself. But to be honest, I really don't care which surgeon I get, as long as they are reasonably experienced. So they are now enquiring whether someone else from the same team can fit me in, I'm not holding my breath though...
I was never offered the option of Choose and Book. I was referred to a consultant by my GP. The consultant then told me that he wanted to do the operation himself, suggesting that the Swedish surgeons that were brought in to operate on the waiting list were sub-standard. So I felt like I had no choice...

I have decided to submit a complaint, straight to the chief executive of the Strategic Health Authority I think, just to make a statement :-)

Offline spenno

  • MICROgeek (<20 posts)
  • *
  • Posts: 14
  • Liked: 1
Re: NHS waiting list nightmare - help!!
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2012, 09:54:42 PM »
Hiya i was told 24 week wait for my pcl\acl knee op!!! on the NHS lucky enough my wife has private healthcare so im getting it done on the 23/7

Offline Alicat

  • Regular Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 60
  • Liked: 0
Re: NHS waiting list nightmare - help!!
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2012, 10:55:59 PM »
i dislocated my knee december 2011 and am at the had MRI 3 weeks ago waiting for appointment from OS to discuss results stage /sigh

Offline Brambledog

  • SuperKNEEgeek
  • *****
  • Posts: 1079
  • Liked: 10
Re: NHS waiting list nightmare - help!!
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2012, 09:17:01 AM »
It's a common story on here I suspect.... ::) If there's one thing the NHS does really well, it's make you wait......just when what your body needs is swift action! But then, at least here, we can get good care free - if we were in most other countries we would have to pay or have good insurance. I think it's more frustrating because you hear of those with private insurance who get seen quickly, operated on quickly by great surgeons and get marvellous follow-up - but that's the best care. We're lucky really, it just doesn't feel like it!

From my original pain starting it took about 9 months to get a scope, involving as you said, the initial GP appt, the follow-up GP appt, physio, back to GP, referral, OS, referral to rheumatology, tests at rheumy, back to OS, decision to scope, wait for surgery date.....surgery. Seemed like forever. And now I have to wait for even longer with my issues until they can TKR me!!! It's all fun and games... ::)

Did you see a documentary a few months ago about the NHS bringing in Swedish surgeons to clear waiting lists? I'm in the midlands and I'm pretty sure it was the Bristol area they were talking about. The problem wasnt so much the surgery itself as the problems afterwards with recovery management and aftercare with issues. That may be why your surgeon went off-list as it were and kept you for himself. Might not be a bad thing. The choose and book thing is great for time, but you've got no idea who will do your surgery. If you've factored that in and are happy for any surgeon (and they are qualified, of course!) to do it, then go for it and hope you get something soon.

Good luck with it all.

Brams  ;)
2009 - diagnosed coeliac
Aug 2011 - L knee arthroscopy
Aug 2011 - diagnosed PF arthritis L knee
Nov 2011 - diagnosed CRPS L knee
Dec 2011 - MRI R knee, PFOA is worse than L!
June 2012 - no surgery 'til TKR's
Nov 2012 - CRPS spread to L foot/thigh, increasing pain
- Worsening pain/symptoms R knee
;-)

Offline linksys77

  • MICROgeek (<20 posts)
  • *
  • Posts: 13
  • Liked: 0
Re: NHS waiting list nightmare - help!!
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2012, 02:32:37 PM »
Hey Brambledog,

that documentary sounds interesting as I am indeed in the Bristol area. Not heard anything from the waiting list co-ordinator regarding a new date for surgery. I will ring them tomorrow before they all disappear for the weekend ;-)

I agree that the NHS is indeed a great idea in theory but somehow people are just being let down too often. They are doing a great job saving lives in real emergencies but the service for non-life threatening injuries leaves a lot to be desired. And for most people that work and pay taxes, the NHS is not free at all. They amount we pay in PAYE and NI taxes is more than I used to pay for my compulsory health insurance in Switzerland.

Offline Brambledog

  • SuperKNEEgeek
  • *****
  • Posts: 1079
  • Liked: 10
Re: NHS waiting list nightmare - help!!
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2012, 04:25:14 PM »
I've got a couple of links for you....

The first is a report on the foreign orthopaedic surgeons from Weston....

http://www.chfg.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Westonreport.pdf

The second is a news item from 2002 warning about potential problems with using foreign surgeons to cut lists... ::)

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/uk-news/2002/07/25/plan-to-use-foreign-surgeons-attacked-91466-12061314/

The report is interesting reading. I couldn't find a link to the actual story that wasn't massively over-hyped and inflammatory!!! I think the point to take from it all is that you take a certain extra risk, however small, if you use a surgeon you don't know. He doesn't know you, your history etc very well, and your aftercare is likely to be in a different place. So he literally operates on your knee and goes. Of course many ops are fine, but it seems to increase the risks of something going wrong, either surgically or with aftercare.

Hope its some use  :)

Brams  ;)
2009 - diagnosed coeliac
Aug 2011 - L knee arthroscopy
Aug 2011 - diagnosed PF arthritis L knee
Nov 2011 - diagnosed CRPS L knee
Dec 2011 - MRI R knee, PFOA is worse than L!
June 2012 - no surgery 'til TKR's
Nov 2012 - CRPS spread to L foot/thigh, increasing pain
- Worsening pain/symptoms R knee
;-)

Offline John42

  • SuperKNEEgeek
  • *****
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 18072
  • Liked: 211
  • Complete Ruptered Patella Tendon 9 Jan 2003
    • Chat with SylviaK4221
Re: NHS waiting list nightmare - help!!
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2012, 04:32:27 PM »
Sadly, not much different in the North West - The four hospitals run by the Pennine Trust, have about 16 Orthopaedic Consultants, and goodness knows, how many underlings.  Of late, mainly Asians, Indians, but there a few very good knowledgable UK ones as well.




JohnK/ Manchester
Ruptured Patella Tendon January 9 2003
Slipped on black ice.  Manchester UK

Complete Ruptured Tendon

Offline NIGAV

  • MINIgeek (20-50 posts)
  • **
  • Posts: 30
  • Liked: 0
Re: NHS waiting list nightmare - help!!
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2012, 09:50:55 AM »
i waited almost 9 months to the day for my ACLr here in belfast. Surgeon told me his waiting list was 9 months to be fair so i was prepared for it. he also told me if i wanted to go private with him i would be on the operating table in 7 days  :o. Money talks eh
full ACL tear 19/06/2010 motocross incident
MRI scan 20/03/2011
onto waiting list 19/04/2011
surgery 11/01/2012

Offline linksys77

  • MICROgeek (<20 posts)
  • *
  • Posts: 13
  • Liked: 0
Re: NHS waiting list nightmare - help!!
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2012, 12:52:58 PM »
I think I just had some good news after all  :D I decided to phone the consultant's secretary today and it turns out she was off sick for a while (even ended up in hospital herself) so I felt really bad about hassling her... Her not being at work is probably also the reason for all the chaos and confusion. She has spoken to one of the consultant's underlings (very senior registrar) and he is happy to perform op on original date. Consultant's secretary also happy for him to do it but will have to check with consultant on Monday.

So hopefully I will still be able to go under the knife next Thursday. It looks like the Consultant is thoroughly booked up for the near future so I would have to wait ages for him to be able to do the op. So I think I've got the right to ask for someone else to do it.

Fingers crossed.















support