Snail mail or is it me?

Follow up to my first endo appointment on the 4th April. Having heard nothing from Royal Cornwall hospital by 25th April phoned GP who had heard nothing either. So phoned to be told "We are very busy you know." They e-mailed GP with blood as they are not allowed to give results over the 'phone,so I could in turn 'phone GP for results. (mad or what?) GP says under medicated but doesn't what to do anything until the letter arrives. Today ring GP who still has no letter so ring hospital gain.Different girl,says her colleague is off sick(would I like a job typing letters?)Ask where my letter is ,she says it must be in the post,this is before she asks my name.Go through it all again and she tries to fob me off until I ask who I can complain to.Then she looks me up and says she will type it today. Lets wait and see!!

12 Replies

  • Hi beaton what on earth is this world coming to my docters is like that takes them 4 weeks to send a letter out. Hope you hear soon xx

  • Thank you,it's a shame that we have to complain to get anything done. (and at a cost of daytime phone calls.)

  • Hi I have never heard of a consultant taking more than 2 weeks, however, some have useless secretaries and that can mean ages. Too busy they say!Make sure you spoke to the named endo`s secretary. Also ask her to e mail you the results and letter. I always do as my post totally unreliable.

    Best wishes,


  • Hi Jackie,I think the whole hospital is in a mess. I spoke to two different women,each claiming to be my consultant's secretary. I think the two of them cover the whole unit. ie Diabetic and endo.,which is in an add-on building. I have asked for a copy of the letter,which was agreed at the appointment but she seemed to think I was being awkward. Will wait and see.

  • Hi I agree, you just have to nag them!


  • ....possibly one of the problems with the UK system is that Consultants work for the NHS and within the private sector too. I think they have difficulties prioritising/following up etc. No one likes to mention a two-tier system - but it does exist. I was once a patient in both in Cornwall - and the files were never updated. If I saw a Rheumatologist privately he would not know about my NHS file that I had Crohns - and yes files were constantly being mislaid.

    I do think the system is crazy when you cannot know your own details from the hospital - only from your doctor. Anyone who has a teeny bit of common sense can see that it would cut down on the GP workload if you came away from the hospital with the information......not to mention costs.

    Here in Greece - we can make our own appointments without a referral. We pop along within a day or so - have the scans for example - come away with them and a report and do with them what we wish. Go back to the GP or have a second opinion. OK that is private but oh so affordable. Blood tests the same - in that we have printed results in a couple of days handed to us ! None of this secrecy which to me smacks of control. We keep our own records too - so if things get lost it is our fault !! Cuts down on the stress of waiting too.

    I have had good treatment back in the 70's in the UK so please do not think I am being critical for the sake of it. Having experienced the system here I know which one I prefer.

    Do hope you hear something soon and that you will not have to experience the additional stress of complaining.

  • Hi Marz,Thanks for your reply. I can criticise the NHS and R Cornwall hospital. I was under rheumatology for three years,during the last year I saw a prescribing pharmacist each month.He monitored my meds. Suddenly his clinic was removed,he was only then available privately.(No one told me this.)Within weeks,as I could not tolerate the meds I was discharged from Rheumy with not other help offered.Wish I lived in Greece.

  • Hmm. I live in Cornwall but asked to be referred to Derriford for an endo as I had heard better things about them re being able to get T3. However the postal system was as bad as I waited weeks for the blood tests which the endo told me in an email had been sent to me (they hadn't).

    On another occasion I was waiting to be referred for a serious eye op from the Royal Cornwall to a hospital in Plymouth and I ended up ringing the sec in the RC every day to make sure my letter had been sent and hadn't been dropped into a black hole. I couldn't understand how they could be using such an antiquated system still and that was a few years ago, and it seems that nothing has changed.

  • Well you know what they say about Cornwall,Drectly. Wish Penzance hospital was bigger,whent there for my gall bladder op. and couldn't fault them. But then if they were bigger they might be as bad.

  • Hi, yes happens everywhere. I had appointment 4th same as you, I asked to be copied in to any letters blood results etc, still nothing.

    Ra.g again was told Dr has been off back in today so letter will then be sent.

    I doubt very much.

    Last yr I had to pay 50 pound for my gp re ords I'm trying to keep up to date, I like you will be paying more in phonecalls lol

  • Must keep on at them.

  • It's very frustrating!

    I had my first outpatients oncology appointment on the 8th April and was told that we will contact you if there is something on your blood tests we need to follow up. I was clearly hypothyroid following surgery to remove follicular variant papillary cancer contained within the right lobe of my Thyroid. I wasn't happy with this and emailed the endocrinology nurses that work for my endo. They organised an appointment with him 1 week later and he saw how ill I was and started me on Levothyroxine 75mcg straight away. The endo nurse then told me that the oncologist was sending me a letter to start on 50mcg of Levothyroxine and to disregard this because I could get my prescription from the hospital pharmacy. Anyway, the letter from the oncologist was dictated on the 8th April, typed up on the 17th April and posted 1 week later and sent 2nd class. It arrived nearly 3 weeks after the oncology appointment and on a weekend when I couldn't get a prescription from my GP. I'm just glad I chased my endo and got my meds sorted. Unfortunately, they don't seem to be having much of an effect but I understand I have to start on a low dose and increase the dosage slowly until I well and that this is due to the risks of associated with the drug.

    My advise is to keep nagging them and sent an email. I asked for path reports, blood results etc and I think it made them sit up and think that I wasn't going to just accept their way of doing things.

    Good luck.

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