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think about it

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Posts posted by think about it

  1. What’s important to remember here is that besides an apology and putting things into place to minimise the likelihood of it happening again there’s not much else that they can realistically do. If someone feels they need support then it’s important that they ask for it and make their expectations clear about what they need. It’s entirely possible that there will be/have been disciplinary actions taken but it’s not for the response to the complaint to specify what happened and to whom. 
     

     

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  2. So it’s an official envelope / franking then. That’s a good thing in some respects as the source of the letter is narrowed down significantly. The clinic manager may well be able to identify the sender by their handwriting as the pool of likely people will be quite small. 
     

    I wouldn’t get too hung up about the upcoming change in exec, there’s no way on earth the existing or incoming exec would investigate this personally, it’ll go to their exec level complaints team/person and be dealt with by them. If every complaint written to the exec was investigated by the post holder they’d never have time to do their actual job. 

  3. It’s all a bit unusual really. Firstly, vaccines haven’t used thimerosal since at the latest 2011 https://fullfact.org/online/thiomersal-mercury-vaccines/

     

    Again, we’re several years down the track with another matter involving another person making, to my mind, the third such complaint from Layla/PF. 
     

    I’m interested to learn more about how OP feels they’ve been able to pin down a vaccination as the sole cause of their father’s ill health and not the countless other potential causes. 
     

    All the advice that could possibly be given about actually making a complaint is there on the other two threads so I don’t hold out much hope that this one won’t go the same way I’m afraid. 

  4. You’ve had some excellent advice from the other posters, it does indeed sound like a data breach that ICO should be aware of. 
     

    I experienced something similar when managing a practice where someone’s information was mistakenly included in a letter sent to the police. Thankfully as it had passed from one authority to another the person involved wasn’t adversely affected. Nevertheless the matter was investigated, reported to the ICO and measures put in place to minimise the chance of a reoccurrence. I also contacted the individual concerned to explain what had happened. 
     

    From an investigation standpoint I’d be curious about the envelope and whether or not it was franked or had a stamp, I’d want to see the handwriting to compare it to that of my colleagues and also look at checking the audit trails of the clinical systems that hold these letters to see where and when it was printed and by whom. I’d be interested to see if the information was signed as an original copy or a photocopy/print off from a scanned original. 
     

    The lack of a properly addressed envelope kind of steers this away from being an administration error in a hospital setting to either a report that’s been stuffed into the wrong envelope on a pile of outgoing mail or someone with adverse intentions. 
     

    Please do contact the high level complaints team via PALS, engage with your GP practice manager too although the team at the hospital should automatically involve them and ask them to conduct an internal investigation, I’m sure the PM would appreciate the ‘heads-up’. 
     

    It’s entirely possible that you will not get a definitive answer as to what happened and please be reassured that this doesn’t mean there’s some sort of weird stuff happening, just that they can’t identify the source of the breach. 

  5. Your pharmacist cannot override what’s written on the prescriptions, if it says 84 then it’s 84 regardless of the instructions below. 
     

    Likewise your GP may be constrained by limits on the quantity of medication they can prescribe at the first consultation. It’s not unusual to see medication supply limited to ensure that the patient will return so that the GP can review progress. 
     

    I’d strongly encourage you to make a follow up appointment to ensure that your treatment is not interrupted. 
     

    In terms of ruining treatment or ripping people off, no. Even at £18 a consultation and supply of medication is an absolute steal. Your MP is the person to take issue with in relation to prescription costs, not your GP or Pharmacist. 

  6. A likely reason is a breakdown in therapeutic relationship. When a complaint occurs it’s sometimes reasonable to assume that the trust between patient and doctor is damaged to the extent where it’s no longer possible to offer effective treatment. It then makes perfect sense to have the patient deal with another clinician who can take the relationship from a clean slate. 
     

    Delays in appointments happen all of the time for a myriad of reasons from doctors being stuck in traffic to previous patient requiring resuscitation and everything in between. Unfortunately you’re again in a situation where the incident happened at least six months ago and you’re attempting to rely on the recall of people who are in the midst of a global pandemic to remember a relatively uneventful day before Xmas 2019 when a GP was running late. 
     

    That delay again brings the likelihood of getting a meaningful response to practically zero, requiring the practice staff to trawl through all the records of that morning to see if the cause of the delay is documented, and then say: ‘sorry, we were running late because another patient really needed us’ 

     

    I’d honestly suggest your mother finding an alternative practice if she’s unsatisfied with the care she’s receiving from her current one and acting promptly if an issue arises.  

  7. It’s because there is no medicinal cure for what one GP coined ‘sh!t life syndrome’. It’s perfectly reasonable that someone struggling with lots of external factors beyond their control would have physical manifestations of their difficulties. Unfortunately the pills don’t cure financial problems, mend broken hearts or fix Rocky relationships but the pain these things, and more, can cause is very real indeed. 

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  8. I can answer one of your questions, your GP surgery receives electronic notification of when you’re due your smear and generates the letter. It’s done through a system that communicates between the local health board/PCT and the practice. On a regular basis one of the practice team, in my experience it was one of the administrative staff, will log in to retrieve the notifications (not just for smears but for lots of different cyclical tests/interventions such as vaccinations) and will generate the letters. 

  9. Okay, just seen this and thought I’d stick a oar in.

     

    If your (old) GP feels that the therapeutic relationship is damaged to the extent that they’re unable to treat you then they’re perfectly within their rights to have a colleague see you. It would appear, in spades, that this is likely the case given the strength of your reaction to a relatively minor occurrence. If that wasn’t / isn’t the case and there was indeed an emergency then the GP concerned did you a favour by not making you wait any longer. 

     

    There’s a common misconception that once a patient has left the consultation room that the GP is free to start work on the next patient. If indeed it was an emergency the GP could have well instructed the person to travel directly to a local hospital whilst they call ahead to arrange urgent investigations or treatment which takes time. And please be assured, 40/50 minutes on the telephone to a hospital trying to track down the consultant or ST1 responsible for a particular speciality isn’t uncommon.

     

    By all means ask the PM for an explanation, it’s likely to be very simple. A clear breakdown of therapeutic relationship.  

  10. 52 minutes ago, sofiaa said:

    I spoke to the hospital and asked if they accept NHS referrals and they said yes.

    I also asked if they had an the relevant department that dealt with the medical solution and they said yes

    Of course, almost every private hospital will accept and indeed will seldom proceed without a referral fom the patient’s GP. The fact that they accept referrals doesn’t mean that the NHS will fund the treatment at their facility.

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    I've been referred to this hospital myself in the past by my GP for surgery

    And as demand and queues change so does the engagement with private sector providers.

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    The reply fails to address the issue of no choice being given

     

    The preferred hospital is closer to home, less waiting times, better service overall and more convienient. compared to the local NHS hospital which is at bursting point with bad  reviews

     

    The fact is NO choice has been given at all - just a referral to a hospital with not very good overall reviews, then somehow that appointment has been cancelled by someone, after I called the surgery to explain the referal was not to the hospital of choice.

     

    The Practice Manager reply states that he has checked the NHS booking system and the [preferred hospital] does not provide this procedure under the NHS and also contacted NHS referral line at [preferred hospital] and they have confirmed this with

    I’d suggest checking the rules about choose and book before responding, specifically they state: 

     

    There are some exceptions that may limit your choice – for example, not all hospitals are able to treat every condition, and a hospital must meet NHS conditions on standards and costs.

    https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/nhs-services-and-treatments/can-i-choose-where-to-receive-treatment/#when-choice-is-limited

     

     

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    But then the practice manager contradicts himself by saying 'They offer this service but on private basis'. 

    No contradiction here I’m afraid - yes they’ll carry out the treatment if you pay for it - doesn’t mean that the NHS will fund it there.

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    BUT as a NHS patient you still have the right to be sent to a private hospital which the GP has refused and even worse not given any choice of where to go for treatment,

     

    Again, check here: https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/nhs-services-and-treatments/can-i-choose-where-to-receive-treatment/#when-choice-is-limited

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    then that appointment has somehow been cancelled which the practice manager has failed to identify in their response

     

    Please help me with a reply back to the practice manager

     

     

    Dear Practice Manager, thanks for your response. Can you please confirm that the booking on Xth of Maytember 20XX is still in place as the booking line seems to suggest that it has been cancelled.

     

    Yours, Sofiaa

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  11. I think it’s potentially a case of the fact that the NHS occasionally uses private healthcare facilities to offer additional capacity when needed. Almost in a queue-busting manner of helping reduce waiting times when NHS Facilities are unable to meet demand. Obviously once the queue has been busted, so to speak, then the private facilities are not used as it makes no financial sense to have unused capacity in NHS facilities and to be paying a premium for private rooms. Choose and book can only apply where the preferred option is an available one. If the facility is not in use by the NHS then it is not an available option.

     

    As such should your mother wish to use private healthcare then it should be self-funded as capacity exists to offer the necessary treatment within existing NHS facilities. 

    Cancer

    I’m sorry you’ve found yourself in what must be a very difficult situation. 

     

    In some respects it could be worth asking how a delay in seeing a breast surgeon may have contributed to your ovarian cancer. Having had a clear scan two years ago it’s possible that the ovarian cancer may have developed since then, unless the breast surgeon was scheduled to re-scan your abdomen as well as your chest I’m not sure how it could be seen as negligence. Of course I’m not a doctor and I may be missing something that I don’t understand. In any case, I’d suggest speaking with a lawyer who specialises in medical negligence to at least run it by them. I hope if nothing else, that you get the answers you need and wish you well with your treatment. 

  12. The other thing that strikes me is that the referral pathway may necessitate that all patients are referred for initial examination at an NHS facility but is treatment is necessary then the choice of where treatment will be given is then made. It makes far better sense to have the initial appointments in one place so the the team diagnosing and setting treatment plans are centralised and then additional treatment capacity is sought from the private facility. 

  13. In fairness you’ve explained the situation really well on here, there’s no secret code or technique to writing to a PM. We’re just normal people doing a job so don’t feel like it needs to be a perfectly crafted 10,000 word masterpiece, it really doesn’t. Half a page of simply put “We’re not happy with x, please can you help us get y...” will do just fine. 

  14. I can’t help but think that we’re massively over complicating things here, pick up the phone and ask to speak with the PM.

    Explain the issue and ask them to sort it out.

     

    I could solve 99.999999% of problems within an hour or so provided someone actually told me what the problem was.

    By the time I was receiving letters spanning several pages and having to dig through notes and speak to people to get their accounts of what happened it could take weeks to gather the info and get replies from everyone.

     

    Just pick up the phone at lunchtime on Tuesday, ask for the PM and if they’re unavailable ask when they can be contacted and speak to them so they have an opportunity to resolve what is probably a very simple issue rather than trawling out weeks of waiting. 

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  15. A quick thought on this one - you say that the request is on behalf of a family member. My initial thinking would be around whether or not you’re entitled to that information, whether or not the practice has received separate instruction from the data subject and whether or not you have the data subject’s consent to access their data in a form that is easily agreed upon and demonstrated to the data controller. It’s very unusual for no response to be made at all but I have dealt with requests where the patient has expressly told us not to provide any information about their care to family members. Another added complication can be in instances of family break ups where vexatious requests are made to try to gather information to undermine the other party.

  16. In which case you’ll understand that the consultant will need to prioritise their caseload and having their own team member reviewing the cases. I totally understand the situation but do stick with the process.

  17. Just reading through this and I can only agree with the other responses. Seeing a specialist nurse is part and parcel of just about every referral pathway and certainly not a nightmare. They’re often just as knowledgeable as the consultants themselves and certainly more experienced than a foundation year doctor who happens to have a GMC number but may only be a few years out of medical school. As for complaining, well frankly there’s nothing to complain about. I suggest that you attend the appointment as booked and take it all from there.

  18. I can’t offer any specific advice about the process but if you have any concerns over the procedure then please do talk them through with your dentist, it could be that the dental hospital isn’t necessarily the best place for your treatment or that the dentist agrees with you and refers you urgently. Nevertheless it’s worth talking it through openly and airing your reasoning.

  19. Okay, so it’s unlikely that there’s anything currently documented in any detail on your medical records. This explains the GP’s reluctance to put anything in writing as they don’t yet know anything about it. But, after your next appointment on the 21st you’ll be able to ask for a copy of your medical records for free under GDPR. If during that conversation you explained exactly what was happening, what helped and how sitting in a less brightly lit area and after that made a SAR for a basic summary of your records then the most recent consultation would appear on it. You could then present this to your employer as proof of your GP’s understanding of your situation.

     

    Worth a try.

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