what the chuff next!

Hi, oh grr and grrr and once again arrrgghhh!!!

You know I am waiting for an appointment for my pre-op assessment re my spc op on 4th July.

Well this morning, a letter popped through the letter box with the NHS logo. Hubby passed it to me, so I think, Oh good. My appointment.

Well on opeing the thing and reading its message I am flabberchuffin gasted!

It was my copy of a letter to my GP.

It had MY name and MY address and MY date of birth, so it hadn`t been sent to the wrong person. This is how it reads;

Dear Dr C,

this patient falied to attend their last neurology appointment. Due to the vast pressure on the NHS, she has now been discharged from neurology clinic. If you feel she needs a further appointment, please refer her as a NEW patient.

What the blummin ummer is this all about, I yell…adding a few choice expletives which would force the mods here to resign if I tried to include them…I`d never do such a thing anyway!

My head by this time, was running at 50 to the dozen…what? How? why?

My morning carer was here and she and my hubby looked at each other, as if I had gone truly round the bed and kept out of my wheelie`s wheels, as I flew round the house…didnt tell you my wheelie has wings, did I? I digress…

I gathered my file of disabled info and pulled out letters and detritis from past appointments.

I knew I hadnt missed an appointment…as I chuffin` would anyway!

And then…EUREKA! I solved the problem.

Right, this may take a couple or 3 reads, before it becomes clear to you, so hang in there, yeh?

Last August ish, I saw a neuro at Huddersfield… Now he was the guy who sat very patiently (no pun intended there), listening to me and explaining all the tests and notes that had happened in the past 14 years…he was actually a lovely bloke from Africa, who had a special interest in Hereditary Spastic Paraparesis. he told me about his findings in other countries.

Anyway, then he said, with no prompting from me, that he wouldn``t ever discharge me, but would be happy to write any reports for insurance or DWP or anyone at all, about my diagnosis of Idiopathic Spastic Paraparesis. He also explained why MS was ruled out completely.

At the end of the consultation, he said he would be handing my care back to Halifax.

A while later, I received a letter telling me my next follow up appointment would be in October 2013…fine. I filed it.

A few days after, another letter came telling me that appointment had to be changed to the following month. I filed it and amended my diary.

Today on closer inspection of BOTH letters, I see that the November appointment is for 2012!

Aha! Do you see what`s occurred?

Whoever typed the letter, put 2012 instead of 2013!!!

So today`s horrid letter is from someone checking back to see who had missed appointments last year!!! obviously I hadnt noticed the error when I received the letter.

But is it MY job to spot THEIR errors? I think not!

So on Monday, I`ll have to ring my GP and explain this debacle to her and then ring the hospital and tell them of their mistake and of the absolute upset they have caused me.

I expect i`ll get the usual half hearted apology and no-one will admit to actually making the mistake in the first place, no doubt.

I say eh? As if I haven`t got enough to think about. Grrrr!

luv Pollxx

Hi Poll,

I always worry about this kind of thing, because my appointments are so infrequent, it would be easy to forget one, or get confused.

I know that isn’t what’s happened to you, but it always strikes me as heavy-handed anyway, if the patient made a genuine mistake, to punish them by discharging them. With something as serious - and permanent - as MS or HSP, the patient isn’t very likely to have wanted to discharge themselves, because the problem’s blown over! Plus cognitive issues are a recognized symptom (definitely of MS, dunno about HSP). So shouldn’t a patient whose underlying condition may make them a little disorganized or absent-minded be given a little bit of leeway? Remembering an appointment that may have been agreed up to a year ago isn’t always a doddle, especially when goodness-knows-what might have happened to the patient in the meantime, with such an unpredictable disease.

I don’t have much sympathy for people who thoughtlessly waste NHS time, but I do think people with serious, chronic conditions, that might affect memory and concentration, should be given a bit of slack.

Anyway, I’m wondering if it was the first letter that was wrong, and it should always have read 2012? Would he really have realised, more than a year in advance, that he wouldn’t be able to make October 2013? Possible, but not very likely he’d have plans that far ahead - unless it was actually his wedding or something! Seems more likely he was expecting to see you in October 2012, but something came up, so he asked to defer for a month.

It wouldn’t have made any difference if he hadn’t changed it, because if the original date was wrong anyway, you still wouldn’t have turned up for it, would you?

Was just debating this with my mum, only recently - that nobody checks their own work any more! Nearly 50 years ago, she used to be a typist with a bank, and NONE of the typists were allowed to send their work out unchecked. They always had to pass it to someone else for checking.

If it’s any consolation, it’s not just the NHS. I recently had to sign some important letters of authority relating to my mum’s policies and investments. She’s of sound mind - it’s just we are joint trustees on some things, so some transactions she wants to do have to be signed by both of us.

When the letters came through for signing, all of them had my address wrong. And they were supposed to go to banks and insurance companies afterwards, with my signature - so they would forever after have the wrong address for me. I had to correct every one by hand (there were at least six), countersign it, to show it was my correction, and then write a cover letter to my mum’s advisor, explaining why I had to change them all, because of their mistake.

And all because somebody didn’t do basic stuff like checking people’s addresses are right. You wonder if they are safe to be handling my mum’s money!



Thankyou for your reply Tina. You always take such care and time to help us understand what`s happening.

I just told my hubby that you think the first letter could`ve been wrongly dated, with the year, maybe.

He reckons not, as it would be just a few months after the summer appointment. I tend to agree.The neuro didnt say anything about such a close follow up appointment. Plus there would be nothing new to discuss.

All that about your mum`s finances/wrong address for you, was a clear cut example of very poor admin.

luv Pollx

I suppose we’ll never know. As you say, they’re not going to admit to anyone screwing up anyway, are they?

Just wondered if they’d intended to see you sooner, for some sort of debrief after the conclusions of the Huddersfield bloke? It seemed a bit strange to let it go more than a year, without any sort of comment on that. But I realise it probably wouldn’t materially affect your prognosis, or your day-to-day needs, so perhaps they didn’t think it was necessary.

I’m sure your GP will be able to get it sorted. But with medicine, as with finances, it’s not just the annoyance and frustration of having to get it fixed. You’re left with nagging doubts about whether they’ve got other stuff wrong, that you don’t know about yet. :frowning:



Oh Poll… why why why do they get things so wrong!!! And not a nicely worded letter… or a quick phonecall to you to check the situation?

But as you say, when they realise it’s their mistake you’ll get a half-hearted apology if that!

I dunno… is it just me or do you think that these sort of mistakes have got much MUCH worse since we’ve had computers?

Am I looking through rose coloured glasses when thinking that pre-computers we didn’t have these constant errors?

Have a good weekend Poll… I’m Grrrrr on your behalf!

Pat x

Oh dear Poll,

lts happened to me also. Waited ages for an appointment for a injection under xray in my hip - this was prior to my hip-op.

So l was thrilled to get the appointment - hoping it would solve some of the pain l was in. When got to the X-ray dept. the receptionist - without looking up at me - snotty female dog - she said the computer said ‘no’. She said l had cancelled it. Then the cheeky mare said ‘Next!’ What a lot of tosh. Luckilly, a passing radiologist stepped in and took my hospital letter and sorted it out.

They do make mistakes - but always pass the blame on to us.

l remember writing to the district council about the dangerous state of our local bridleway [wrecked by idiots in 4x4’s] The reply l got back was from ’ The Pubic Highways Dept.’ l kept it for years to give folk a laugh.

Yesterday, l attended the ‘Orthotics Dept’ to see if they could help with my dropped foot etc. Nice young man - called me in and said he would watch me walking. He was shaking his head by the time l reached the door. So l said - ’ l have a style all of my own!’ He said you certainly do. l was using my beloved rollator. He asked me to remove my shoes - well since my hip op l still have to use my long-handled gripper to undo and take off my shoes. He remarked how good l was with the gripper. l said l have to be - its the only way l can pull up my knickers. We were having a chuckle and getting on well - when the door opened and in came my OH - who had been parking the car. [ Parks it a long way from the hospital as he refuses to pay the parking charges.] The orthotist asked if l ever fell down. OH says ‘Does she - yes spectacular falls all the time’] So l replied - ‘l do all of my own stunts’. l had dressed up - nice little dress - lovely tanned legs etc [ fake] bright pink lippy and shoes. Don’t get out much so l do like to get tarted up. You could say ‘sad.’ Whilst waiting for OH to trek back and fetch the car l waited outside in the sun and in a ‘shelter’ opposite were 13 nurses all smoking. This shelter was erected for this purpose - not a bus in sight. They were ankle deep in fag ends. As you can tell l have never smoked.

Hope you get your appointment sorted out soon Poll. My hospital sends ‘text alerts’ before every appointment.

Went out to a bbq last night. And again l wore a dress so as to show off my fake tan legs [ daughter applied it for me]. And you can guess - yes l did freeze. Thankfully, they lit a fire for us to sit around - OH did swim in the pool - in his budgie smugglers. He has been known to dive in with just his ‘furry cozzy’ on.

There is a programme on channel 4 monday - about a man USA - with ten stone testicles. We were all chuckling about it - not that it is anything to laugh about really - but shall have to watch it. At what stage did they consider his testicles to be too big!!! Still, America like all things BIG.

Have a good weekend


Ha, f (spacejacket) that looks like an interesting prog…I will be watching it too.

I`ve just been checking something to make the error more rediculous.

It was after Tina suggested that perhaps the date on the first follow up letter was wrong and should`ve read 2012.

No, I made a slight boob in saying I saw the neuro in August/summer.

I didn` was in fact Oct 26 2012…I have his report from that consultation here.

Therefore he couldnt have wanted to see me again in Oct 2012, as he had just seen me.

Oh the brain ache of it all!

luv Pollx

Poll, On the trailers about this poor guy - l could not work out what he was wearing - then it dawned on me - you look - it seems to be a zip-up jacket xxxxL and he puts his legs into the arms and pulls the bottom part up over his self and zips the ‘contents’ inside.

Am l talking a lot of bull?

Poll. That is truly bad!!! What a mess!!

That’s all you need at the moment. No wonder so many people just turn up at A & E when they need help as the GPs and other outpatient doctors seem to make a lot of mistakes in my opinion.

I bet you can’t wait til Monday comes so you can get it sorted!

I really feel for you.

Shazzie xx

Ive checked my letter from neuro I saw last. It wasnt summer last year, it was October 2012…that shows they did get the date wrong on the second letter, eh?

Cheers for trying to unravel the mystery for me. I do appreciate it hun.


Hi again all.

feeling a tad calmer since I discovered the hospital`s typing error.

BUT tomorrow after making my phonecalls, how can I be absolutely sure, I have been reinstated?

I wonder if a call to the PCT would help? I dont want to drop anyone in the proverbial, I just NEED to know I will be put back where I belong.

That Dr Dafalla, who I saw last Oct, was really nice. Maybe a call to his secretary as well will help. What do you think chums?


Hi Pol, Sorry to hear all this on top of everything else. I think giving the secretary is a good idea, that’s what I did a few weeks ago when they were going to leave my stuck spc a month. I also rang PALS. They were a really helpful last year and recently too. I hope it all gets sorted

Hi Poll

I would definitely call the med sec. I was a med sec until I took ill health retirement and I would have loved to have got my teeth into this mess. Take it from me the med secs do the majority of the work for the docs and keep them on their toes (if you know what I mean).

Let me know how it goes tomorrow. Be thinking of you.

Shazzie xx

l picked up the courage to ring a consultants sec once - and worried about causing a fuss - but l was so glad l did because she was very proactive - and got onto the problem straight away. l think they are the driving force behind these ‘docs’ - where would they be without a woman in charge!!!

They are a different ‘breed’ to the receptionists at the Medical Centres. Who l have found - in the past - daring you to ask for an appointment. Since changing doctors - l have found a big difference - now l have found a receptionist who is ‘human’.

Cheers again for your support everyone.

My youngest daughter is a medical PA to 3 paediatrics in a hospital.

She said it was an error, which shouldve been spotted but wasnt.

She said it can easliy be put right and not to get so worked up…if only it was that easy, eh?

I`ll report back after my calls tomorrow.

luv Pollx

Hear Hear Spacejacket!!

Shazzie x

Hi, Ring the consultants secretary and they should realise there has been an error and just put you back on their system. I am sure it is just all a mistake - computers!!! Try not to worry about it too much, it is not your error. No point spending your precious energy ringing GP/PCT/PALS unless you really need to.