So this morning I went to see my GP to review the discharge letter and get clarity on who needed to do what when. Imagine my surprise when, 10 days after discharge, he asks if I have brought a copy of the letter with me – because he hadn’t yet received one! I hadn’t because I naively imagined that the hospital would have sent him one. Apparently, letters from Bradford hospitals come electronically but Leeds have to post them! I explained that my primary concern was to ensure an ongoing supply of hydrocortisone until it was reviewed by the endocrinology team. He was happy to give me a prescription to tide me over and I was happy not to have it fulfilled until the last minute (credit to the pharmacy who were happy to reserve the drugs for me until I was certain they would be needed, potentially saving the NHS £76 for the cost of drugs).
Next, I ring Dr Murray’s secretary (the endocrinologist) to ask about possible follow-up appointments and the impact of running out of hydrocortisone because I haven’t yet had an appointment despite the discharge letter asking for a clinic appointment in 2 weeks. She says that I need to speak to the ward from where I was discharged…
Ring Ward L25 explaining the position, to be advised that they will fax the letter to my GP along with a comment that “they usually go electronically”. I just couldn’t be bothered to delve into what had happened.
Ring my GP back advising that the hospital would be faxing over a copy of the letter and wondering whether there might be a short slot for me to see Dr Manby once it arrives. After a bit of to-ing and fro-ing the receptionist agrees to speak with the DR and see what might be possible.
THIS IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH – here I am with my copy of a letter asking the doctor to initiate certain things(some of which I can interpret and some of which I cannot)
- 2/52 repeat U+Us and BP
- 2/52 endocrine review
- 2/52 goldman visual fields test
- 6/52 ns opd
- 12/52 mri plus gad
and the best part of 2 weeks into the process (and the 2/52 means in 2 weeks’ time) he hasn’t even got the letter asking him to do them! Even worse, all the documentation about hydrocortisone says not to stop suddenly and my stock is running out with no clinic appointment to review them (even though elsewhere in the discharge letter it states the need for a follow-up clinic appointment in 2 weeks). I remain uncertain about whether or not the 2-week and 8-week clinic appointments mentioned in my discharge letter have been requested, and if they haven’t who should be doing it.
Were I a passive patient and not informed and active, there is a significant chance that nothing would be happening and who knows what the implications of that might be on my health.