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Hospital blunder leaves patient without medication for over two weeks

A LOCALman was left waiting for over two weeks for medication, leaving him at risk of having of stroke, because of a delay in getting a letter from the Royal United Hospital (RUH) to his GPsurgery.

Author John Doyle was referred to the cardiology department at the RUH in Bath when his GP thought that he was at risk of having a stroke and should be prescribed an anticoagulant. John said, “On Friday, April 21st, I had an appointment with a consultant at the RUH who agreed with my doctor that I am in danger of suffering a stroke.

“He told me that he would write to the surgery in Melksham with his recommendations. It was Monday, May 8th, over two weeks later, before I finally received the medication he recommended.”

Explaining what had happened John said, “A secretary and two different doctors from the Melksham GP surgery had chased up the cardiology department at the RUH to find out what was causing the delay. I was told that the consultant had actually written the letter but because he failed to mark it as ‘urgent,’ the administrative staff at the RUH failed to action it.”

Baffled by how the mix-up could have happened John said, “How can a multi-billion pound organization like the NHS be brought to a halt, and a patient left waiting for his medication by something as mundane as typing a simple single page letter?

“I am of course aware of the problems with waiting times for operations and pressure on Accident and Emergency departments, but, taking two weeks to send the GP confirmation of the consultant’s findings? Why? Has the concept of ‘waiting times’ seeped into NHS culture to the point where everything, however trivial, has to have a certain waiting time attached?

“As far as I can see, both the consultant and the staff at the Melksham surgery have done everything that could be expected of them, but the administrative system at the RUH leaves much to be desired.

“While they dragged their heels, the poor old patient, yours truly, was left in limbo and still susceptible to suffering from a stroke.”