Friday, 9 May 2014

When Forced to Rely on the Unreliable

Oh my goodness where to start!

This week has been an ongoing battle with Healthcare at Home. As regular readers will know the delivery of my new drug did not turn up on Friday as expected. After much hanging on the phone and getting the Brompton involved a new date was finally agreed which was supposed to be Wednesday. Did the delivery arrive? Did it hell!

I was at work on Wednesday, Peter stayed at home to wait for the delivery. At eight o'clock he went onto H@H tracker website and found to his horror that there was no delivery scheduled. He rang H@H and got through immediately only to be told they couldn't check anything as they had a power cut and all their computers were down. Peter was told they would ring back. By nine thirty there was no call back and still nothing on the website so he rang again. This time he was unable to get through at all so he rang Carl at the Brompton who said he'd get right on to it. To cut a long story short both Peter and Carl spent the entire day trying to sort this out. At one point Carl reported back that H@H were now also refusing to speak to him and kept putting the phone down on him. By the time I got home I was seething and something snapped. I decided to take my complaint right to the top and so emailed this to the CEO.

Dear Mr Gordon

In my last email dated 10/01/2014 I complained about the service I was getting from H@H and expressed the hope I would not need to contact you again over this matter. Unfortunately your rude, inadequately trained staff have decided to prove me wrong.

On Monday 28th April I was changed over from Flolan to Veletri. You company was alerted and a new prescription was issued. I was due a delivery on Friday 2nd May. After speaking to one of your call handlers I was assured that all was in place and the delivery would arrive.

On Friday 2nd May I looked on the tracker system you have and discovered no delivery was due. After a forty minute wait I got through to a call handler who blamed the Royal Brompton for the mix up saying the prescription had not been authorised. I phone the Royal Brompton who looked into it and assured me it had. I called H@H back and this time, with a different call handler, no mention of authorising a prescription was made but a new delivery date was arranged for 7th May between 0800 – 1300.  At the same time two large sharps bins and the excess old medication was to be collected as H@H had failed to do so on previous occasions.

This morning when checking the tracker still no delivery for me so I rang H@H again. I was told they had a power cut and the computers were down so they would call back. No call back came so I called again at 0943 when I was told the delivery would definitely be with me today.  No delivery arrived so I called again at 1530. I was kept waiting for almost 30 minutes and then was cut off. I called the Royal Brompton who also called H@H and again a delivery was promised for today. I called H@H again and the person I spoke to caused further alarm by constantly referring to the wrong medication.

My order eventually arrived but was incomplete and incorrect. I have not been sent any green needles and I have the wrong type of dressing pack which will mean yet more time on the phone to your incompetent staff trying to correct these mistakes tomorrow.

I am absolutely disgusted at the way you are treating seriously ill and vulnerable patients who rely on the medication you are supposed to supply to keep them alive. I will be posting this email on facebook and in the blog I write. I will also be forwarding it to the media. Maybe when your reputation is at stake instead of just my life you will pull your finger out and get this sorted.


Hazel Roberts

This email had an effect. On Thursday the CEO's office rang but unfortunately I was in work so Peter took the call. They were very sorry for what had happened and the CEO was very keen to speak to me to get 'the full picture with the view of launching an investigation'. They said they guaranteed my missing items would be with me that day and the wrong items removed. Then they said they would ring back when I was at home.

It's not as though you can pick this lot up at Tesco's
The delivery did arrive just after seven yesterday evening but as yet there has been no call back from the CEO. I suspect there won't be but I'm not going to let this drop. From now on I am going to document everything that H@H does wrong, from not ringing on the day they say, to not answering calls to wrong deliveries. I suggest anyone suffering similar problems do the same. If you would like the CEO's email contact me and I'll forward it to you. I'm sure he will be delighted to hear from you. If you do contact the CEO then copy your email to your PH nurse specialist. According to Carl the PH centers and H@H have quarterly meetings to discuss problems. Carl says if they can take a stack of emails to wave at them it will carry more weight. Also every meeting is minuted and documented and all complaints raised have to be addressed. With a bit of luck we can make sure these cowboys do not have their contract renewed.

And breathe and let it go.

Today I start a ten day break from work. I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to kicking back and relaxing. I do have a few 'must do's' though. On Wednesday I'm off to Papworth for a CT scan. As lung transplant involves different plumbing than heart/lung transplant they want to check out my bits and pieces so they know what to expect for either op. As the doctor said, 'the last thing we want after such a long wait is a nasty surprise.' Fair enough. I'm also getting my car serviced. I can't believe I've had it for a year. It still feels so new, despite being driven as though I stole it.

Today it is the usual trip to Tesco's and then I have a weekend of motor sport to look forward too. It's a hard life but somebody has to do it. More tomorrow.