For the last eighteen years I have received generally good quality treatment at Hereford County Hospital. Sadly, the Hospital’s administrative procedures have let it down badly.

In mid-2017 I was diagnosed as having prostate cancer and was told that the consultant urologist would discuss my case with his colleagues. By mid-April 2018 I had heard nothing more but, on making enquiries, was told informally that my documents had been mislaid during the process of converting paper records to computer-based ones. On 29 April 2018 I asked for more information about what had happened. There was no reply and in mid-May I sent a hastening letter to the PALS Manager. Yet again an answer was not forthcoming and on 3 August 2018 I wrote to Mr G Burley, Chief Executive Wye Valley NHS Trust, copy to Mr Russell Hardy, Chairman of the Trust Board, asking why, after a period of 14 weeks, it had not been possible to answer the questions posed in my letter of 29 April. Neither of these gentlemen has seen fit to acknowledge the letter. 

Since then, and on the advice of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, I made a formal complaint on 23 October 2018 to Ms Toni Pope of the Complaints Department at the Trust.  Eventually, on 18 December 2018 I received a letter from her which signally failed to answer two questions:

Why had there been such an inordinate delay in answering my complaints?

Why had Mr Burley not had the common courtesy to answer or at the very least acknowledge my letter of 3 August 2018?

On 10 January 2019 Ms Steph Cholmondeley, the ever-helpful Patient Experience Manager, confirmed that outstanding matters were being looked into. Despite an on-going exchange of e-mail messages I have yet to receive answers to my questions. 

I am reluctant to involve the Hereford Times in this matter and am only doing so in the hope that the publicity will persuade Mr Burley and his staff to explain their tardiness in answering straightforward questions and to sharpen-up the Trust’s administrative procedures.

David Packman