Help navigating NHS referral minefield

I saw an ENT consultant in April about what I thought to be vocal cord dysfunction, which he confirmed a suspicion of and referred me to a speech therapist for formal diagnosis/treatment.

3 months later in July I was CCed into a letter back to ENT from that trust saying their speech therapy dept didn't have the specialist skills needed for VCD and I needed re-referring to a specialist service further away.

I have now made two calls to the ENT dept over the course of three weeks to check if this referral has been made and been asked to leave a number for a call back each time - have heard nothing.

I feel completely lost in the system and angry that a trust should take 3 months just to reply saying they don't offer a the treatment that was referred for. Any advice you can give as to how to get a firm answer and get the treatment I need from the specialist service would be appreciated.

6 Replies

  • Have you spoken to your GP to see if they can refer you.

  • Speak to your GP to see if they have been told anything and / or if they can chase this up. If that doesn't come to anything put in a formal complaint via the PALS service. The PALS service should be able to help you get answers because you are right three months for a referral is disgusting.

  • As both previous responders have said, the GP will turn up the heat to actually get an appointment and the complaint will hopefully get you an answer as to why you seem to have fallen off the radar. I mad a complaint 8 months ago in the hope that it would improve a poor system, but be warned, making a complaint will suck the lifeblood from you in terms of exposing how totally useless and in-denial NHS management is....

  • Can vary enormously. A friend made a complaint and it was dealt with promptly and with a good outcome. Two consultants were sent on a course to correct their poor care of patients. But it can be hard. There are people who can help. In our area it is handled by Citizens Advice Bureau.

    Do go for it, the system will not change unless we fight for it.

    K xx

  • Are you sure that it's the hospital referring you. I think it may be the GP that has to make the referral.

  • Thanks all, I am now pushing my GP to make the referral as they seem a lot more efficient. Once I actually have my referral (which is the important thing) then I will complain about the length of time it took to respond. Thanks all.

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