Saturday reflections – almost 6 months on..

Still waiting...I was listening to some medics and politicians talking on the radio the other day about a target of patients being treated within 18 weeks of being referred to hospital. I wish!

And so I ended up thinking about where we are (I am) right now, so here goes…

I was first advised of this Pituitary Adenoma on Thursday 28th May (2015), was referred to St James’ (part of LTHT) the same day and seen by someone on Monday 8th June. So presumably my 18 weeks runs from then and ran out on Monday 12th October?

However, I still do not have a surgery date and I have two outstanding issues. Firstly that I was referred to the sleep clinic as part of the pre-operative assessment process. I have still to receive an appointment as a follow-up to that despite it being almost 2 weeks since my GP said he would make the referral. (I hope he did, I will check when I see the GP on Tuesday). I was told that this would not affect my listing for surgery apart from needing a high dependency bed after surgery, but it would be good to sort it out.

The second issue is controlling my blood pressure. Yes, some of the delay is legitimately attributable to the desire to bring my blood pressure down before operating, although it’s intriguing that the letter that sent me back to my GP for action on this did not have a target BP nor did it have any detail about who/where to send it back to when BP is under control. But on reflection, my biggest gripe is that this whole process of BP control could have been started so much sooner. It must have been apparent at first look that some substantial medical intervention would be needed and I could have been sent for BP control much earlier and hence be available for surgery much sooner.

I would like to think, indeed this is my rationalisation, that if things were more serious I would be getting more urgent attention…

Fortunately (?) I have yet to hear from DVLA to whom I sent the relevant form advising them of my condition. I can’t imagine that they will withdraw my licence, but again it would be good to have clarity.

The good news is that when I raised my experiences with LTHT’s Head of Patient Experience, I was taken very seriously and we are now working to see how my story might help their learning journey and improve systems and hence the experiences of future patients.

2 responses to “Saturday reflections – almost 6 months on..

  1. Hi Geoff. A quick word about the DVLA bit. I wasn’t told about reporting my eyesight to the DVLA until after I had my operation to remove the tumour. I did this as was advised not to drive until I had the ok from the DVLA. This turned out to be a bit of a misnomer. In fact after hearing nothing from the DVLA for ages, I rang them and they said “take the advise of your doctor” until you hear otherwise from us. So after many weeks of not driving, I asked my consultant who said in his opinion my eyesight was back to normal, because having removed the tumour my visual fields had returned to normal. So I started driving again, only to get the ‘ok’ from the DVLA some weeks later – their ‘ok’ being based on a letter from that same consultant.

    In hindsight, I was more dangerous before the operation not after it, with my visual fields compromised. It is just that I didn’t realise just how compromised they were. Hey ho…..

    • Useful insight thanks Carl. Fortunately my visual field is only slightly compromised and the optician suggested that it is still within the DVLA ‘limits’ and so OK to continue driving.
      Hope everything else is now OK for you too.

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