Red Tape NHS

Would you believe it,got on the list for an arthoscopy in Herts but am moving to Wales in a month!!
Doc says I have to go through all the tests and join the waiting list again!!!
You would think that surgeons talk to each other and could do a straight referal, or is that to much like common sense?
Anyway rant over off to bed after a hard nightshift.
Just out of interest has anyone else experienced this?



  • I had metalwork removed from my leg at Kingston Hospital in 1999(?) Was supposed to happen in the August when I would have still been living in Richmond, however, that appointment was cancelled. I moved in the mean time, but they rescheduled the appointment to October, and I just never told them I moved. (Mail re-direct was great) So I got the op done at a lovely hospital without having to go through the crap of seeing a different surgeon at a new hospital and waiting for it again. A bit cheeky I know, but you have to play the system I guess.
  • Belly Flop

    I know a little about this !

    The current combined (OP and inpatient or treatment ) wait for an arthroscopy in most Welsh hospitals is significantly greater than in England - anything up to 308 weeks according to the latest official stats

    Welsh Patients Charter says 2 years max wait - the Welsh Assembly has also pledged to reduce this down to 18 months for the treatment wait bit - some progress here recently, but still no comparison to England...

    If it all possible, may be worth seeing if you can stay on your current waiting list in Herts, returning there for treatment

    Note there is a Welsh waiting times helpline facility available through NHS Direct (0845 4647) which can give you full details - if you have to transfer to a Welsh waiting list, I'd recommend 'shopping around' and asking for details of the consultant/hospital with the shortest waiting time via the helpline or your GP

    Which part of Wales are you moving to ? SE Wales the worst in turns of waiting times.

    hope helpful

  • I'd definitely remain on the Hertfordshire waiting list and travel for the op, Obelix. Simplest all round!

    It should be possible for your GP to refer you to a surgeon in Wales, along with copies of all the relevant correspondence to date (or you could have copies of the correspondence to take to the clinic yourself, although your GP will probably charge a small fee for providing you with them). This could be done either from where you are or after you move, and depends on how willing your GP is to do a bit of research and blow a big wet raspberry at geographical boundaries.

    Silly things like this drive those of us who work in the NHS crazy too.
  • BF - Just been told by someone who should know that should you choose to stay on the Herts w.list, you are in your rights to do so.

    Once a hospital accepts and processes your GP referral, responsibility for your care transfers to the named consultant. You cannot be removed from the list just because you are moving to another part of the UK - even Wales (a sensible move by the way, putting aside w.lists + the fact that we don't have Waitrose).

    I'm told that the decision to remove can only be made by either

    1. The patient (a 'self deferral') or

    2. The consultant. Latter should only occur once you have been either treated, deferred for clinical reasons, deemed not in need care (eg got better, died (whoops - sorry !!)) or re-refered to another specialist. The latter was felt to be an obvious option here, although once transferred you may find yourself at the end of the queue

    "Your choice though" (I'm told !!). This the theory anyway - interesting to see how this pans out...

    Either way I'd resolve before you move, such is the w.times situation here

  • V'raptor - it is the effect of the NHS on my mental health that makes me run in the first place (who needs endorphins !!).

    Possibly also a factor in you wanting to eat and terrorise children hiding in kitchens on small islands ?! For certain its why I'm a "paranoid android"...

  • Back to work !
  • I don’t think this is just the NHS. I believe it is a feature of all major health care systems. During medical training we are taught to start afresh with each patient and, to a certain extent, disregard what other doctors have said. This applies throughout the whole system and leads to Belly-flops’ problem of having to start again when moving to a new area.

    The downside is that patients and their GPs get irritated when a new specialist starts asking all the same B%$£*y questions again. And that surgeons won’t act like car mechanics and just do an operation they have been told to do.

    However, there is an upside. Every doctor will recall at least one case where they did take things on face value and subsequently regretted it. Where another doctor told them it was condition X, they accepted this, and then it turned out to be condition Z. That is why the “start from scratch” attitude persists.

    I’m not saying it’s a good reason, but there is a reason for it. However, it is changing slowly as health care systems become more consumer led.

    Like Vrap, I encourage my mobile patients to stay on their original waiting list if possible.
    Good luck
  • Have you got an address in Wales yet, Belly Flop? - in which case I would encourage you to encourage your GP to refer you to the hospital in Wales as well, so that at least your already on the waiting list for a hospital appointment when you get there and you have your eggs in two baskets - kind of - this may mean a bit of extra work 4 your own Dr or his secretary but not much work
  • ...well I think the burocracy/waiting list bit may be NHS-related - private hospitals dont have the same problem letting patients have their own Xrays/scans etc

    ...and apropos what dr nick says - if you were to have arthroscopy in Herts, maybe ask the surgeon to videotape it so if you did ever have to see another knee surgeon they would find that useful

  • Could the Herts consultant/hospital refuse admission on clincal grounds ?

    Tricky for them to pledge post-operative support for a daycase procedure (arthroscopy ?) unless 'O' could prove he'd be staying locally..
  • Cheers for the suggestions all,am going to try and get on both waiting lists.
    For info my, local hospital in Wales will be the Royal Gwent in Newport, and I do have an address but it is not quite finished yet (Just hope the letter box is in!!)

  • Good luck !!!! Note waiting times details for arthros at the Royal Gwent can be found on
  • My god!!!
    2 Years + for the royal Gwent.
    Might try to sneak in Chepstow 16 weeks!

    Cheers OFT
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