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Re: NHS waiting times?

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  • mazza1961
    I use to be under the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital in Gray s Inn Road, London, from the age of 5 till about 19. Twice a year my mum took me
    Message 1 of 12 , 1 Apr 00:24
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      I use to be under the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital
      in Gray's Inn Road, London, from the age of 5 till about 19. Twice
      a year my mum took me there. When I had my kids in my early 20s, I
      let a few years go before before requesting a check up to see if
      there were any new aids plus if my hearing had deterioted etc., and
      I was told I had to get a referral from my GP as it had been more
      than a year since I been there. When I went to my GP, he said I had
      to go to the local ENT now, something to do with funding. That was a
      pallaver as the local ENT didnt have my notes from RNTNE plus when
      the first wave of digi aids came out, I missed out cuz my local
      trust wasnt in the trail then but the RNTNE was. I was really
      annoyed seen as I had spent most of my life going to that hospital.
      What a stupid system eh.

      Mazza


      --- In hardofhearinguk@..., "ian_game" <ian.game@t...>
      wrote:
      >
      >
      > Thanks Clare,
      >
      > That is totally new information for me. Previously, about 9 years
      ago,
      > I saw an article in the '1 in 7' mag about the clinic at the Royal
      > National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital in Gray's Inn Road, London.
      I
      > went straight there (took a few months though) and got fitted up
      after
      > some initial tests and x-rays. But from what you say there is
      > obviously a different scheme in place at least where you work.
      >
      > As the saying goes 'forewarned is forearmed', I will find out next
      > week what their system is and ask nicely if I can skip the ENT
      surgeon
      > stage.
      >
      > Best regards
      >
      > Ian
      >
      >
      >
      > --- In hardofhearinguk@..., "Clare" <cr10@c...>
      wrote:
      > >
      > > Hi Ian,
      > >
      > > you asked:
      > > > 1. If I went to my GP and asked for a referral to a hearing
      clinic,
      > > > how long would I have to wait? <<
      > >
      > > I don't know if it's the same everywhere, but in the areas I've
      > > worked GPs can't refer people under 60 yr old direct to the
      hearing
      > > aid clinic. We have to refer to an ENT surgeon - waiting list
      time
      > > depends on locality. The surgeon establishes the degree and
      cause of
      > > the hearing loss, in case it's something that can be treated.
      Only
      > > then, if hearing aids are indicated, are we referred to the
      hearing
      > > aid department. Another waiting list.
      > > .....
      > .........
      > > Good luck.
      > >
      > > Clare
    • Clare
      Hi Ian, you wrote ... after ... I m intrigued. Surely you still saw a doctor first at the hospital who requested the tests and x-rays? Rather than being able
      Message 2 of 12 , 1 Apr 13:29
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        Hi Ian,

        you wrote

        >Previously, about 9 years ago,
        > I saw an article in the '1 in 7' mag about the clinic at the Royal
        > National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital in Gray's Inn Road, London. I
        > went straight there (took a few months though) and got fitted up
        after
        > some initial tests and x-rays. <

        I'm intrigued. Surely you still saw a doctor first at the hospital
        who requested the tests and x-rays? Rather than being able to go
        straight to the hearing aid department and have audiogram and hearing
        aid fitting there without having to jump through any hurdles first.

        Fantastic to have got through that in only a few months. And your GP
        referred you or did they have some amazing self-referral scheme going?

        I'm green with envy. By the time I came to be trying to get through
        their doorway, the digital rush had begun and waiting times were
        horrendous. You must have hit a time when the waiting lists were
        doing well.

        Clare
      • Clare
        Oh Mazza, it has been so frustrating for the doctors as well as patients! Every few years the system changes and rules change about who we can refer where.
        Message 3 of 12 , 1 Apr 13:57
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          Oh Mazza, it has been so frustrating for the doctors as well as
          patients! Every few years the system changes and rules change about
          who we can refer where. Sometimes we've effectively only been able to
          refer to the local centres. You must have hit one of those times. At
          other times we have been able to refer to some of the specialised
          centres. I can't always keep up.

          Some of it makes sense so that waiting lists at the specialised
          centres aren't overloaded with people who could be looked after just
          as well in the local centres, leaving no space for the people with
          the rare or complex conditions who really do need to be seen in
          these "tertiary" centres.

          But as you say, crazy that you couldn't be seen in the department
          that already knew you.

          I was lucky enough to hit a time when my GP was allowed to refer me
          to the RNTNE, so I could get digitals (good news) but it was also a
          time when the waiting lists were long (bad news.)

          In all sorts of specialities, sometimes I've been able to speak with
          specialists who have then arranged for a patient to skip the steps
          that are unnecessary for them. Sometimes I haven't been able to
          persuade them and the patient just has to wait and jump through the
          hoops.

          It may not be possible for Ian's GP even if s/he is willing to give
          it a try. On the other hand, Ian's been seen in the RNTNE hearing aid
          department before. That may make a difference - I'm not sure what
          policy is on that.

          Clare

          --- In hardofhearinguk@..., "mazza1961"
          <mazza1961@y...> wrote:
          >
          > I use to be under the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital
          > in Gray's Inn Road, London, from the age of 5 till about 19. Twice
          > a year my mum took me there. When I had my kids in my early 20s, I
          > let a few years go before before requesting a check up to see if
          > there were any new aids plus if my hearing had deterioted etc., and
          > I was told I had to get a referral from my GP as it had been more
          > than a year since I been there. When I went to my GP, he said I
          had
          > to go to the local ENT now, something to do with funding. That was
          a
          > pallaver as the local ENT didnt have my notes from RNTNE plus when
          > the first wave of digi aids came out, I missed out cuz my local
          > trust wasnt in the trail then but the RNTNE was. I was really
          > annoyed seen as I had spent most of my life going to that
          hospital.
          > What a stupid system eh.
          >
          > Mazza
        • mazza1961
          Hi Clare, Yeah, I understand that the GPs have to follow the rules etc but it just seemed so annoying at the time, cuz if I didnt have my kids I would have
          Message 4 of 12 , 1 Apr 16:06
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            Hi Clare,
            Yeah, I understand that the GPs have to follow the rules etc but it
            just seemed so annoying at the time, cuz if I didnt have my kids I
            would have just carried on going to the RNTNE. Felt like I was
            punnished for having kids lol. Anyway, got my digis eventually,
            locally, and just guess I took longer than would have if I had still
            been under the RNTNE at the time. Another lady that lived near me
            but was under a different GP managed to get referred to the RNTNE at
            the same time I was trying to. So dont know what happened there.
            Do different doctors follow different referral systems?

            Anyway, now I am in the process of waiting for a hip op and the
            first consultant I saw, I wasnt happy with and after some research
            on my part my GP referred me to a consultant of my choice. So my GP
            is not all bad :).......... or perhaps he got fed up of me moaning
            about waiting for the digis a few years back :/

            Mazza
            --- In hardofhearinguk@..., "Clare" <cr10@c...> wrote:
            >
            > Oh Mazza, it has been so frustrating for the doctors as well as
            > patients! Every few years the system changes and rules change
            about
            > who we can refer where. Sometimes we've effectively only been able
            to
            > refer to the local centres. You must have hit one of those times.
            At
            > other times we have been able to refer to some of the specialised
            > centres. I can't always keep up.
            >
            > Some of it makes sense so that waiting lists at the specialised
            > centres aren't overloaded with people who could be looked after
            just
            > as well in the local centres, leaving no space for the people with
            > the rare or complex conditions who really do need to be seen in
            > these "tertiary" centres.
            >
            > But as you say, crazy that you couldn't be seen in the department
            > that already knew you.
            >
            > I was lucky enough to hit a time when my GP was allowed to refer
            me
            > to the RNTNE, so I could get digitals (good news) but it was also
            a
            > time when the waiting lists were long (bad news.)
            >
            > In all sorts of specialities, sometimes I've been able to speak
            with
            > specialists who have then arranged for a patient to skip the steps
            > that are unnecessary for them. Sometimes I haven't been able to
            > persuade them and the patient just has to wait and jump through
            the
            > hoops.
            >
            > It may not be possible for Ian's GP even if s/he is willing to
            give
            > it a try. On the other hand, Ian's been seen in the RNTNE hearing
            aid
            > department before. That may make a difference - I'm not sure what
            > policy is on that.
            >
            > Clare
            >
            > --- In hardofhearinguk@..., "mazza1961"
            > <mazza1961@y...> wrote:
            > >
            > > I use to be under the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear
            Hospital
            > > in Gray's Inn Road, London, from the age of 5 till about 19.
            Twice
            > > a year my mum took me there. When I had my kids in my early
            20s, I
            > > let a few years go before before requesting a check up to see if
            > > there were any new aids plus if my hearing had deterioted etc.,
            and
            > > I was told I had to get a referral from my GP as it had been
            more
            > > than a year since I been there. When I went to my GP, he said I
            > had
            > > to go to the local ENT now, something to do with funding. That
            was
            > a
            > > pallaver as the local ENT didnt have my notes from RNTNE plus
            when
            > > the first wave of digi aids came out, I missed out cuz my local
            > > trust wasnt in the trail then but the RNTNE was. I was really
            > > annoyed seen as I had spent most of my life going to that
            > hospital.
            > > What a stupid system eh.
            > >
            > > Mazza
          • jezjezuk
            My aids were in the bottom drawer most of the time! but I decided to go for digis! I asked my GP to refer me to RNTNE and he said no could only refer me to
            Message 5 of 12 , 2 Apr 02:35
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              My aids were in the bottom drawer most of the time! but I decided to
              go for digis!

              I asked my GP to refer me to RNTNE and he said no could only refer me
              to Guys. But I
              explained about RNTNE being the only ones doing digis!!

              Hed been a ent specialist prior to being a gp - but said hed bought
              some digis and paid a
              hell of a lot for them and they were no good!!!!

              Stuck my guns and said I wanted to be referredto RNTNE!! so he did -
              took a bit of a battle
              - but I always got on well with him!! (I used to refuse his pills
              unless he could convince me
              they were really needed!)

              Yes I had to have a consultation first! - Yes I had to go on waiting
              list - but I got them
              evenutally - Never go in the bottom drawer - my kids love them - Iv
              stopped being an
              embarrassment to them!!! - thats the most important function!


              --- In hardofhearinguk@..., "mazza1961"
              <mazza1961@y...> wrote:
              >
              >
              > Hi Clare,
              > Yeah, I understand that the GPs have to follow the rules etc but it
              > just seemed so annoying at the time, cuz if I didnt have my kids I
              > would have just carried on going to the RNTNE. Felt like I was
              > punnished for having kids lol. Anyway, got my digis eventually,
              > locally, and just guess I took longer than would have if I had
              still
              > been under the RNTNE at the time. Another lady that lived near me
              > but was under a different GP managed to get referred to the RNTNE
              at
              > the same time I was trying to. So dont know what happened there.
              > Do different doctors follow different referral systems?
              >
              > Anyway, now I am in the process of waiting for a hip op and the
              > first consultant I saw, I wasnt happy with and after some research
              > on my part my GP referred me to a consultant of my choice. So my
              GP
              > is not all bad :).......... or perhaps he got fed up of me moaning
              > about waiting for the digis a few years back :/
              >
              > Mazza
              > --- In hardofhearinguk@..., "Clare" <cr10@c...> wrote:
              > >
              > > Oh Mazza, it has been so frustrating for the doctors as well as
              > > patients! Every few years the system changes and rules change
              > about
              > > who we can refer where. Sometimes we've effectively only been
              able
              > to
              > > refer to the local centres. You must have hit one of those times.
              > At
              > > other times we have been able to refer to some of the specialised
              > > centres. I can't always keep up.
              > >
              > > Some of it makes sense so that waiting lists at the specialised
              > > centres aren't overloaded with people who could be looked after
              > just
              > > as well in the local centres, leaving no space for the people
              with
              > > the rare or complex conditions who really do need to be seen in
              > > these "tertiary" centres.
              > >
              > > But as you say, crazy that you couldn't be seen in the department
              > > that already knew you.
              > >
              > > I was lucky enough to hit a time when my GP was allowed to refer
              > me
              > > to the RNTNE, so I could get digitals (good news) but it was also
              > a
              > > time when the waiting lists were long (bad news.)
              > >
              > > In all sorts of specialities, sometimes I've been able to speak
              > with
              > > specialists who have then arranged for a patient to skip the
              steps
              > > that are unnecessary for them. Sometimes I haven't been able to
              > > persuade them and the patient just has to wait and jump through
              > the
              > > hoops.
              > >
              > > It may not be possible for Ian's GP even if s/he is willing to
              > give
              > > it a try. On the other hand, Ian's been seen in the RNTNE hearing
              > aid
              > > department before. That may make a difference - I'm not sure what
              > > policy is on that.
              > >
              > > Clare
              > >
              > > --- In hardofhearinguk@..., "mazza1961"
              > > <mazza1961@y...> wrote:
              > > >
              > > > I use to be under the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear
              > Hospital
              > > > in Gray's Inn Road, London, from the age of 5 till about 19.
              > Twice
              > > > a year my mum took me there. When I had my kids in my early
              > 20s, I
              > > > let a few years go before before requesting a check up to see
              if
              > > > there were any new aids plus if my hearing had deterioted etc.,
              > and
              > > > I was told I had to get a referral from my GP as it had been
              > more
              > > > than a year since I been there. When I went to my GP, he said
              I
              > > had
              > > > to go to the local ENT now, something to do with funding. That
              > was
              > > a
              > > > pallaver as the local ENT didnt have my notes from RNTNE plus
              > when
              > > > the first wave of digi aids came out, I missed out cuz my local
              > > > trust wasnt in the trail then but the RNTNE was. I was really
              > > > annoyed seen as I had spent most of my life going to that
              > > hospital.
              > > > What a stupid system eh.
              > > >
              > > > Mazza
            • Mike Fryer
              Hi Mazza
              Message 6 of 12 , 2 Apr 06:24
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                Hi Mazza
                <<Anyway, now I am in the process of waiting for a hip op and the first consultant I saw, I wasnt happy with and after some research on my part my GP referred me to a consultant of my choice. So my GP is not all bad :)>>
                Yeah, the system's pretty mad at the moment. As I understand it, it can also depend on which specialist centers or hospitals the local health authority (now 'primary care trusts' in many cases) has a contract with. A typical example of this is renal services and dialysis. There were at least two dialysis centers both within 20 minutes of Colchester that had space to accommodate patients 5 years ago (one at Ipswich, across the county border in Suffolk about 16 miles away and one at Broomfield hospital in Chelmsford, about 20 miles away in central Essex) but the patients from N.E. Essex and the Colchester area could go to neither as the then North East Essex health authority had a contract with one of the London teaching hospitals instead (80 miles away). This bureaucratic madness meant that exceptionally ill patients in full renal failure had no choice but to travel (on public transport when there is often standing room only) all the way to London and frequently be dialyzed overnight. The situation got to the stage where so many patients were being referred and that many elderly patients who were too infirm to use public transport and had to spend up to 8 hours per day being driven to and from London, that the senior consultant made a brave move and 'blew the whistle' to the press and said that enough was enough as it was, in some cases, beginning to cost lives. The situation hasn't improved greatly despite this valiant effort although it did shock and shame the local PCT into opening up a few more dialysis stations locally for local patients. The PCT Chairman even appeared on the news and made a solemn promise that a new dedicated dialysis center was going to be built within 12 months at Colchester, but that was at least 3 years ago and it still hasn't materialised. Very complicated system, I'm afraid. I should imagine that ENT services have exactly the same problems. It's a minefield for GPs to have to navigate it at the moment. All the Best,
                Mike





                ========================================
                Message date : Apr 02 2005, 01:06 AM
                From : "mazza1961"
                To : hardofhearinguk@...
                Copy to :
                Subject : [Hard of Hearing UK] Re: NHS waiting times?


                Anyway, now I am in the process of waiting for a hip op and the
                first consultant I saw, I wasnt happy with and after some research
                on my part my GP referred me to a consultant of my choice. So my GP
                is not all bad :).......... or perhaps he got fed up of me moaning
                about waiting for the digis a few years back :/

                Mazza
                --- In hardofhearinguk@..., "Clare" wrote:
                >
                > Oh Mazza, it has been so frustrating for the doctors as well as
                > patients! Every few years the system changes and rules change
                about
                > who we can refer where. Sometimes we've effectively only been able
                to
                > refer to the local centres. You must have hit one of those times.
                At
                > other times we have been able to refer to some of the specialised
                > centres. I can't always keep up.
                >
                > Some of it makes sense so that waiting lists at the specialised
                > centres aren't overloaded with people who could be looked after
                just
                > as well in the local centres, leaving no space for the people with
                > the rare or complex conditions who really do need to be seen in
                > these "tertiary" centres.
                >
                > But as you say, crazy that you couldn't be seen in the department
                > that already knew you.
                >
                > I was lucky enough to hit a time when my GP was allowed to refer
                me
                > to the RNTNE, so I could get digitals (good news) but it was also
                a
                > time when the waiting lists were long (bad news.)
                >
                > In all sorts of specialities, sometimes I've been able to speak
                with
                > specialists who have then arranged for a patient to skip the steps
                > that are unnecessary for them. Sometimes I haven't been able to
                > persuade them and the patient just has to wait and jump through
                the
                > hoops.
                >
                > It may not be possible for Ian's GP even if s/he is willing to
                give
                > it a try. On the other hand, Ian's been seen in the RNTNE hearing
                aid
                > department before. That may make a difference - I'm not sure what
                > policy is on that.
                >
                > Clare
                >
                > --- In hardofhearinguk@..., "mazza1961"
                > wrote:
                > >
                > > I use to be under the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear
                Hospital
                > > in Gray's Inn Road, London, from the age of 5 till about 19.
                Twice
                > > a year my mum took me there. When I had my kids in my early
                20s, I
                > > let a few years go before before requesting a check up to see if
                > > there were any new aids plus if my hearing had deterioted etc.,
                and
                > > I was told I had to get a referral from my GP as it had been
                more
                > > than a year since I been there. When I went to my GP, he said I
                > had
                > > to go to the local ENT now, something to do with funding. That
                was
                > a
                > > pallaver as the local ENT didnt have my notes from RNTNE plus
                when
                > > the first wave of digi aids came out, I missed out cuz my local
                > > trust wasnt in the trail then but the RNTNE was. I was really
                > > annoyed seen as I had spent most of my life going to that
                > hospital.
                > > What a stupid system eh.
                > >
                > > Mazza





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              • Clare
                Hi Mazza ... Too right it s annoying. When the rules seem so silly! ... still ... I don t know if you re like me, but I found the wait frustrating. I can cope
                Message 7 of 12 , 2 Apr 07:20
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                  Hi Mazza

                  > Yeah, I understand that the GPs have to follow the rules etc but it
                  > just seemed so annoying at the time,

                  Too right it's annoying. When the rules seem so silly!

                  > Anyway, got my digis eventually,
                  > locally, and just guess I took longer than would have if I had
                  still
                  > been under the RNTNE at the time<

                  I don't know if you're like me, but I found the wait frustrating. I
                  can cope with the fact that I can't hear some things, (mostly!)
                  because at least I've got good hearing aids now that make such a
                  difference. But that 14 month wait when I had no aids and knew things
                  would be better once I had them - uurgh! There were so many
                  situations that were hard work and I knew didn't have to be.

                  So I would think it was just as frustrating for you having that
                  unnecessary wait to get the digital aids.


                  >Another lady that lived near me
                  > but was under a different GP managed to get referred to the RNTNE
                  at
                  > the same time I was trying to. So dont know what happened there.
                  > Do different doctors follow different referral systems?

                  It depends when it was. If it was during fund holding, the other
                  lady's practice might have been fund-holding giving them freedom to
                  buy care from anywhere. If they had enough funds remaining of course.

                  Or if the two practices are either side of a health authority/family
                  health service/primary care trust boundary. One might have had
                  contracts with the RNTNE and another didn't.

                  Sometimes we were able to make "extra-contractual referrals" where we
                  had to convince the health authority that this patient needed
                  something specific that wasn't available at the local hospital.
                  Sometimes the reasons were fine and you'd be told "yes." Occasionally
                  you'd be told "no" initially but if the GP kept working on it you'd
                  be able to give reasons they would then accept and say "yes." Often
                  not.

                  >
                  > Anyway, now I am in the process of waiting for a hip op and the
                  > first consultant I saw, I wasnt happy with and after some research
                  > on my part my GP referred me to a consultant of my choice. So my
                  GP
                  > is not all bad :).......... or perhaps he got fed up of me moaning
                  > about waiting for the digis a few years back :/

                  Good on you. Have you met the new consultant yet and is s/he OK?

                  Clare
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