Be pro-active to get in at your nearest hospital

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Surfleet pensioner Ruth Scrivener wants to spread the word that patients who may struggle to get to consultant appointments and clinics at Boston or Peterborough can instead be seen at their local community hospital.

Mrs Scrivener complained to MP John Hayes after discovering she could see her consultant for a follow-up appointment just eight minutes from home by bus at Johnson Hospital when she’d been given a much later date at faraway Boston as though there was no option.

Last week Pilgrim Hospital orthopaedic consultant Phil Heaton held a meeting for local GPs asking them to send him their patients at his weekly clinic in Holbeach Hospital.

He had noticed after eight weeks attending the clinic that it was used at only 50 percent of capacity, and hospital manager Lorraine Wigston confirmed that other consultants with clinics at Holbeach are finding the same problem.

Mrs Scrivener said: “I can understand that for a first appointment GPs may need to refer you to a bigger hospital where there are perhaps more facilities, but in Spalding we’ve got this lovely new hospital and I discovered only by chance that I could be seen there instead of at Boston.

“I couldn’t make the first follow-up appointment I was given at Boston and when I rang the next one they offered was two months’ hence and at a difficult time for me getting there and back by bus. I just happened to ask ‘Couldn’t he see me at the Johnson?’ and was told yes he could. The Johnson couldn’t have been more helpful.”

A spokesman for NHS Lincolnshire said: “We would recommend that patients pro-actively discuss all the referral options directly with their GP.”