I’ve decided to split this weeks post into three parts as I feel it’s going to be easy to read and give me feedback on. On the subject of feedback I really would appreciate thoughts and feedback on, especially, the first two posts. If you wouldn’t mind sharing them around too via whatever medium you found me by that would be really appreciated. I don’t normally ask, people will come here via whatever means because they find the blog interesting, however I have a few things to talk about that I’d really appreciate some feedback and thoughts on.
Porterbrook Gender Clinic in Sheffield have up to now been very good to me, with very prompt appointments and while their procedures are a little antiquated up to now I haven’t complained because compared to other clinics their appointment times are superb. Generally 4-6 weeks, no more than 8 between appointments compared to 4-6 months or more for Charing Cross for instance.
As such their insistence on seeing me four times before putting me on T-blockers etc. I tolerated as it was still only around 6 months of appointments which I could cope with. I then received an appointment to see a consultant I hadn’t seen before which as they know I’m talking about surgery was fine by me. It would be one of the two I needed, Dr Shetty would provide the other – jobs a goodun…
Unfortunately Dr Shetty then phoned me to tell me the appointment was ‘in error’ and that he would have to see me then they would refer me to Leeds for a s.. hang on Leeds? What?
It turns out that, I’m guessing on the back of the old PCT agreements not only do their initial assessments not follow NHS guidelines which stipulate 2 assessments before hormones or other treatment, not the 4 they do, but they also currently send you off to another GIC, which is even further from home to the tune of at least another hours travelling and £10-15 in petrol, but they have.. wait for it.. WAITING TIMES!!
Given the aforementioned guidelines only mentioned ‘a consultant not directly involved in your primary care’ and that CHX, Nottingham and I’d guess at least Sunderland all do their second consultation internally, then there would seem to be no reason for them not to use the consultant I’ve yet to meet as the second consultation.
On top of that I was also told that they won’t refer until I’ve been on their books 12 months. Given most patients arrive ‘fresh’ on their system that would be entirely reasonable, if a little rigid. However in my case I’ve been in the NHS GIC pathway for 20 months now, full time for 4.5 years and the guidelines state ’12 months RLE for surgery’ – they don’t even mention hormones which is slightly off, but that’s irrelevant.
I have no problem with things like 12 months RLE, hormones for 12 months etc. – they are entirely reasonable timescales to ensure that you are comfortable with the changes etc. – however delays for the sake of the delays ‘because that’s how we always do it’ are definitely in my opinion unacceptable, and making twice as hard for me to plan for my future because rather than squeezing surgery in before training to be a nurse, assuming I get an offer of course, I’m faced with a very uncertain time scale.
I’m waiting for a phone call from my GP to discuss a way forward as while I don’t want to unduly rock the boat, I do want to fight delays for the sake of delay – time delays.
However I’d also like your guys thoughts, hence the initial paragraph, what do you think?