“Please hold and we will answer shortly”

Having heard nothing about my referral to the Endocrinology Clinic, I thought I would ring up to enquire. I should have known better – apparently, as on previous occasions, my “call is important to us” although clearly not important enough to answer any quicker than 9mins, after which I find that I have NOT speaking to anyone who can help me “I do not deal with endocrinology, can I put you through to the correct number?”. I am not going to get excited about this, but surely when one rings the single number given for the Appointments Service, whoever answers the call ought to be able to deal with it? Now I am in yet another queue!

When I finally get through to endocrinology, they have no record of a referral! WTF!! OK, Dr Randall agreed that I could go on holiday but surely the referral was still made? So the person to who I speak volunteers to ring Dr Randall’s secretary to find out what is going on….

So, Dr Randall’s Secretary has sent the referral to our consultant’s secretary and the lady with  whom I spoke does not have a copy, nor does she know whether the consultant’s secretary has actioned anything. She has arranged for a new copy to be faxed over and will ring me once she has sorted it out…


Endocrinology appointments are on a 6-11 week waiting list! I explain my frustration that after an urgent message to see my GP, followed by and urgent referral to the hospital who urgently referred me to endo and opthalmics I now have an opthalmics appointment for late July and no offer of an endo appointment at all! Is this urgent or not? She is sympathetic and as helpful as she can be within her process. I ring off after 26:10 on the phone frustrated and wondering:

a) what ‘urgent’ means

b) whether anyone is looking at my whole pathology or whether I am being seen by individuals unaware of the bigger picture.

Has the MDT meeting that was mentioned been held yet?

Who do I speak to in order to get some information and/or clarity?

Decide to ring Dr Randall’s secretary to see if she can help:

1) Am I still under Dr Randall’s care?

2) Has the MDT been convened and, if so, what was the outcome?

3) Is anyone looking at my total pathology or just at the isolated bits?

4) What does ‘urgent’ mean in this context?

I ring Cathryn, Dr Randall’s secretary to ask the questions. First of all she remembers me and my holiday 🙂 and says that she has just sent another copy of the referral letter to the appointments team. In relation to Q1, it seems that I am now in the care of Dr Murray, a consultant in Endocrinology. However she is very helpful (and I tell her so) in emailng Dr Randall (who is in clinic at the time) to ask his views on Qs 2 & 3 as she can find no reference to an MDT although she thinks that it may have been held and that is where the referral to endo came from. She promises to ring me back tomorrow.

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