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Just musing again...

 
 
Crunchie Cat
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: South Wales
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      4th Jun 2012
Oh really...!! Is it any wonder that most of us have to wait an age to be given an Outpatient appointment, when hospital admin staff waste so much time by not checking their internal records?

For a while now, I've been waiting for an appointment with the Ophthalmology department of Cardiff's largest hospital. I knew there would be a wait, of course... there usually is. But I can't help thinking that if the non-medical staff were running things more efficiently, it might actually help to reduce waiting times.

Earlier this year, our Optician was not able to diagnose a sight problem which has been intermittently bugging me. I get a day or two of blurry vision and a very annoying, "double vision" kind of thing, (not in the true medical definition of the term, but where letters and figures appear to double-up.) I might "see" 110, or 1100, instead of 10 for example; and words containing letters i, l or v, such as in the word "exclusively" might look like "excllusiiwellly" to me.) Just to give you an idea.

When it happens, it can make reading decidedly difficult and has given me some nasty shocks when checking a bank statement! Thankfully, this is not happening all of the time as I've already mentioned... but it means I'm not to drive until it's properly sorted. I wouldn't chance it anyway... because when it happens, I sometimes can't recognise faces until I'm close to them, or read street signs or number plates. Though most of the time, I can see them okay.

So, after Mr. Optician had ruled-out the obvious things, (e.g., cataracts or astigmatism) he decided to refer me to the hospital's Ophthalmic department for further investigation. I told him I'd had a brain scan last year (headaches) and the results were clear of any nasties. But as he pointed out, situations can change, and "We need to know if anything else is going on, sooner rather than later..." Hmm... that was a cheery thought.

Anyway, after several weeks, a letter arrived, informing me that I'd been added to "the consultant's shortest list." Oh good! Better than being on his "longest list" I guess. The letter also contained details of my address and phone number with a request that I should contact them if any of the details were incorrect.

They were all correct!

There passed ore weeks of waiting. Then, this weekend, another letter arrived. Oh great! My appointment, thought I.... But no, it was yet another letter, asking whether I still require the appointment/have already attended the appointment/no longer require the appointment/have a date to attend the appointment... please tick whichever is appropriate and return the form in pre-paid envelope. Oh... and whilst we're about it, we don't appear to have your telephone number. Please also supply your email address, if you have one, plus any dates that you will not be available!

It's a Bank Holiday weekend, so no postal collections until Wednesday. And when the returned form eventually finds its way to the hospital, I daresay it will be passed around a bit, before reaching the appropriate department, then go through their filing systems and what-not... so that effectively takes care of yet another week or so.

I have a hospital number, so why not simply have checked my records again, (or even looked at a copy of their previously-sent letter?) My telephone number would have been right there on file. A quick call:

Q: "Still want the appointment?"
A: "Yes please."
Q: "Any holiday dates to avoid?"
A: "No."
Q: "Got an email addy?"
A: "Yes, it's blah @ blah uk"

Done! Just a couple of minutes to key it into the computer and probably cheaper than having them send out forms, paying postage (both ways) and then spending time sorting out paperwork.

Hey-ho.... a bit of a grumble can be quite theraputic sometimes...
 
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4x4 Cruncher
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      4th Jun 2012
Yep dealing with the NHS can sometimes be very frustrating!
But good to know they still are thinking about you TC.
 
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      4th Jun 2012
People don't like picking up the phone anymore, it's ridiculous! You're right - things could be sorted out far more quickly if they did.

Hope you get you appointment soon, double vision can't be much fun.

 
"Other girl's luxuries are my necessities, so buddy, beware!"
 
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Captain Crunchie, Retired
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      4th Jun 2012
I have a plan ...

Get any walking stick, paint it white, get dark sunglasses. Now, take the consultant's shortest list letter and go to the hospital, tell them that you're running out of time and could you please "see" some one today.

... 'cos you have a GW2 weekend this weekend and you really don't want to miss it.




I went to that hospital once, they kept asking me to go back.

 


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Crunchie Cat
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      4th Jun 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by feckit View Post
Yep dealing with the NHS can sometimes be very frustrating!
But good to know they still are thinking about you TC.
Oh yes... unlike my Other Half, who has now been waiting a full year for a non-urgent appointment in the same department.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Becky View Post
People don't like picking up the phone anymore, it's ridiculous! You're right - things could be sorted out far more quickly if they did.

Hope you get you appointment soon, double vision can't be much fun.
It's odd isn't it - medical and dental practices now have "paperless" offices... the hospital is full of computers, but somehow they remain behind the times.

Thanks for the good wishes.

(BTW I hope your move went successfully and you're beginning to settle-in to your new home. )

Quote:
Originally Posted by muckshifter View Post
I have a plan ...

Get any walking stick, paint it white, get dark sunglasses. Now, take the consultant's shortest list letter and go to the hospital, tell them that you're running out of time and could you please "see" some one today.

... 'cos you have a GW2 weekend this weekend and you really don't want to miss it.


I went to that hospital once, they kept asking me to go back.
That sounds like a clever plan Mucks I could disguise one of the cats as a guide-dog too!
 
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      4th Jun 2012
Particularly liked the Bank statement comment


 
 
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      4th Jun 2012
Right TC heres one for ya!

My mother has been waiting for an appointment for ages for her arthritic knee, which needs to be replaced as she is in agony most days with it, she gets a phone call last week the guy says can you come in on such and such date at 3:00pm for an appointment to see the consultant, yes says my mother of course, will you send me a follow up letter to confirm, no says the guy I'm telling you on the phone so you won't need one..

Great says my mum, I'll be there 3:00pm sharp on such and such date..

She turns up sharp for her appointment 3:00pm on the dot..
Receptionist says hello can I help, mum says yes I have a 3:00pm appointment to see counsultant such and such, oh sorry you should have been here earlier at 11:00am as now they have all gone home, and you were late!

Mum in fits of rage goes off at receptionist allthough its not her fault, mum has no letter of confirmation to back her up because guy on phone says she doesn't need one because he's telling her over the phone..

So telephoning is also without its vices, don't be fooled otherwise, get them to confirm by letter and phonecall if possible..

Now she's got to wait another 3 months for an appointment again...She's not a happy bunny..

 



"Ironic, isn't it Smithers? This anonymous clan of slack-jawed troglodytes has cost me the election, and yet if I were to have them killed, I would be the one to go to jail. That's democracy for you." -- Mr. Burns
 
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Crunchie Cat
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      5th Jun 2012
Oh that's awful CL, your poor Mum! No wonder she felt so mad - what a shame they refused to send her an appointment letter. That kind of letter is helpful, I would agree with you on that one. It's a bit much that your Mum has to wait for another three months, particularly when it wasn't her fault that the appointment was missed. Wishing her all the best.
 
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Location: South London
Posts: 774
 
      7th Jun 2012
I have to attend the hospital every year so they can check up on my pace maker.After I`ve seen the technician I make a further appointment for the following year,I`ve got that much confidence in the pace maker,and they write in down on my appointment card.I them toddle off home and wait. So this year on May 14th I go for this years appointment and I pass with flying colours. Today (6/6/12)I get a letter to remind me of that appointment! But what is bad about it was that the letter was written out on the 31st of May!!! weeks after my appointment.
And I get it today-------strange places hospitals.Maybe they`ve got a load of unpaid youngsters to do the filing for their benefits.
historian

 
On my 76th year in orbit around the sun.
 
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Crunchie Cat
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      7th Jun 2012
Good grief Historian, that really is unbelievably bad. There certainly seems to be a lack of communication between some of these hospital departments. That old saying about the right hand not knowing what the left is doing, comes to mind.

Glad to hear your check-up went well.
 
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