Monday, August 11, 2014


Well I never!  My imminent hospital visit was all sorted, or so I thought till I received a letter telling me I had the option of going somewhere else.  I do... why?

The appointment offered, the letter explained, with apologies, was thirteen days past the legally required period  for treatment to be given.  The hospital is therefore "required to identify if any other hospital outside the region would be able to treat [me]".... before the date that I was offered.  The letter goes on to say that I may have already received a call from the hospital about this asking whether I would be willing to to be placed under the care of another consultant; (no, I have not received such a call).  Of course,  if I did want to pursue this offer,  it would mean that I would have to travel for treatment and possibly any follow up care.  Receiving timely follow up care has long been a bone of contention for many patients in far flung communities. It would be nice to get it.  As you can tell, this guidance does not worry me in the least.  It might, I suppose, if I lived within, say, twenty or thirty miles of the hospital. 

I am  used to travelling for a regional hospital appointment, a journey of 240 miles, (round trip).  I would not be particularly put out by having to travel farther, if I were to pursue a change of plans.  As I am not going to, it is all academic anyway.  

It is highly unlikely the administration would be able to obtain alternative services for me with so little time to do so, less than TWO DAYS.  By sending me the offer at very short notice to re-arrange my treatment, the hospital may just about have legally covered itself. 


Anonymous said...

All this faffing around really seems so unnecessary at times, and must be another waste of NHS money. Flighty xx

ZACL said...

Hi Mr F. The way I have received the communication is questionable.


Anonymous said...

Yes, covering themselves it must be. But what a trek for you. And the costs must rack up, as I suspect you would need overnight accommodation too, sometimes.

Snowbird said...

What a lot of hogwash, they are definitely covering their butts!xxx

ZACL said...

Costs do rack up, GillyK, even with a bit of NHS offset. There is some means testing, even so, there is an expectation that whatever your income levels, you would be paying fares. The calculation is means differentiated.

I have a concern about refreshment for people receiving benefits, as that is never provided for whatever income level is operating.

A patient who lives within relatively easy reach of the hospital will pay local fares, if not within walking distance, but is unlikely to have to buy refreshment because the patient can get home in reasonable time. Anyone much further afield, cannot. A hospital appointment can involve between six to eight hours of travel. In the Winter possibly an even longer time. The journey becomes an even more difficult one in Winter because of short daylight hours and the possibility of bad and risky travelling conditions.

There are also considerations around appointments that finish later than you can get public transport home, or, are on days when transport is very limited. The permutations of organisation are endless. Unless you have experienced it, I think it would be hard to believe.

People do sometimes decide on overnight stops, depending on the time of an appointment, the seasonal conditions, and what it is for.

ZACL said...
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ZACL said...

Hi Snowbird,

Do hogs wash? If so, they probably make a better job of it! ;)

I heard from hubs that a retired colleague of his had a couple of large operations done in private clinics after similar Regional NHS offers. My guess is, the man's dates were rather more delayed than mine.

There is a bit of gamesmanship in the kind of offer hubs colleague may have had, as it is expected that some people will decline those offers. They then get a 'refusal' noted on record.

In my case, if I don't make contact to ask to be fast tracked, I still have the appointment that was originally sent to me, even if it is late.

zalandeau said...

I think you should go to Africa. There are mobile clinics that provide care better than in Europe.

ZACL said...

:) Hi Zalandeau;

If Ebola infection was not extant in Africa, your idea might be an interesting one.