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Anthony Osula
Anthony Osula, General Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 224
Experience:  MB ChB DRCOG
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Dear Sirs, After visits to my GP in January and February

Customer Question

Dear Sirs, After visits to my GP in January and February 2019 I was put on the Cancer Pathway and had a Gastroscopy and Endoscopy on 2nd March followed by a CT Scan shortly afterwards. The tests were negative for cancer and I was taken off the Pathway. I still had the same symptoms and my GP said he could not help and I would have to see a consultant. The earliest appointment at the Royal Free Hospital Hampstead was 30th April. I arrived for the appointment and was told that a doctor or consultant was not available and I could only see a senior nurse. As helpful as she was she said I would need to see a consultant! She arranged for a Breath Test and Lactose Allergy test time be done - one of which I had to wait until 30th September for and the second until October 22nd. Two appointments were made To see (hopefully) a Doctor for July and subsequently cancelled and the next available date was October 1st. I arrived for this appointment, was told exactly the same story about a doctor not being available. To my disbelief I was introduced to the same nurse that I had seen in April. She was very apologetic and said that she would speak with a Gastroenterologist for advice. She also arranged for a Thyroid blood test be done. I received a letter to say that I should attend the Royal Free on October 18th for a Full Body PET CT Scan. I was told by the Nuclear Medicine team that I should allow two days and then contact the Doctor’s secretary who had requested the scans and arrange a date to discuss the results. As there was a weekend in between it was in fact 5 days before I rang to arrange this. I tried on three consecutive days and was only able to leave a message on their answer machine. I had asked each time for someone to call me back but no one ever has. On 28th October I went to the Patient Liason Office at the Royal Free. I told them that I understood how busy the NHS is, that I did not want to make a complaint and just wanted to know what the results of the 1st October blood tests and 18th October scans. They apologised for the farcical events throughout the year and the gentleman I was talking to asked me to contact him on Thursday just 4 days later. I did this, but that chap apparently does not work on Thursdays! Two other of his colleagues were unable to help because they said I’d need to speak with the person who I had originally approached. I have since left 4 messages on that offices answer machines but again no one ever returns my calls. I have never been rude, raised my voice, and have always said how I appreciate the pressures the NHS are under so there is no way that I could have ever upset anyone or give them cause not to want to speak with me. I have tried to get my GP to obtain the results but as it was the Royal Free who initiated the tests they say I have to pursue the matter myself directly with the hospital. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Yours sincerely ***** ***** Jarratt
Assistant: Are you keeping a personal medical record while dealing with this?
Customer: Yes
Assistant: Anything else in your medical history you think the Doctor should know?
Customer: No
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Anthony Osula replied 3 months ago.

Hi, I'm Dr Osula and thanks for your detailed message.

As a GP myself, I've dealt with scenarios like this which can be frustrating for patients.

Your GP is your advocate so in fact he/she should try to obtain the test results on your behalf. They can have direct access and the clout that you as a patient would not have.

Your GP can alternatively get one of the admin team in the surgery to chase the results which can easily be faxed or emailed to the surgery.

You'll find the best way to do things is normally to send an email, that way there's an audit trail and noone can deny they did not receive any correspondence. I hope this helps.