I'm hopeful that at some point I'll be able to write a blog post where things are progessing but it won't be this one. I'm really getting the run around and getting pretty fed up with it.
I got a letter from Paediatrics telling me that Nipper had an appointment. Great, it must be the language assessment. However, the letter wasn't clear and the appointment wasn't until December - rather a long time to wait for an assessment. So I rang up to check it out and ask how come we had to wait so long (7 months from when we saw the Paediatrician).
That's when I hit the first problem. The phone number on the letter isn't actually the department who sent it so the person I'm talking to can't help. She's very helpful though and says she needs to speak to her colleague and someone will ring me back. Two days later I get a phone call and a different women explains that the reason we have to wait so long is because that's what the Paediatrician wanted. I'm thoroughly confused and after a bit of questioning it turns out that this is not our diagnostic assessment after all but the follow-up appoint for when we have had all the necessary assessments.
So, what's happening with the diagnostic language assessment appointment then? The person I'm talking to can't help with that but gives me a phone number, which is the number of the colleague who needed to be consulted two days ago. It's only 3:30pm but apparently there's no point in ringing as there wouldn't be anyone there. So I ring the next morning, and I get an answering machine, and I leave a message. Two days on and I havent had a reply so I ring back on the number on my original letter again. 'Barbara' (whose answering machine it was) is on holiday. The person I'm speaking to can't access the system so will try to look into it and ring me back. Later that day a different person rings me up as they want to be sure of who I am and check Nipper's details. This person knows that we saw the Paediatrician back in May but can't confirm for certain whether a referral has been made for Nipper to have the diagnostic assessment and the locum Paediatrician we saw has now left. ('Barbara' appears to be the only person who can access the system - lets hope she doesn't get hit by a bus!) It seems that there are two referral systems in place - one for Paediatricians and one for GP referrals. If you are referred by your GP you will be seen within 18 weeks to meet NHS targets. If you are referred by the Paediatrician then you have to wait for a space in the list of people referred by GP's as no targets are in place for Paediatricians. So, in order to be sure that Nipper gets seen soon-ish I'm supposed to go back to my GP and ask her to write a letter. The Paediatrician sent me back to the GP back in May and she threw a hissy fit and told me it wasn't her remit to deal with Nipper any more and his care was down to the Paediatrician.
Added to this ridiculous mess is my ineffective attempt to get an Ed Psych referral. We had a meeting with the nursery and SENCO about this ages ago and the SENCO was supposed to be checking to see if Nipper was on the list already and if not then putting his name forward. I also chased it up with the nursery after the GP confirmed that the Paediatrician definitely wanted this referral. We haven't heard anything despite me chasing it up again and Mr Earplugs (hubby) leaving a message on the SENCO's mobile. Yesterday I bumped into the SENCO at nursery when I arrived to collect Nipper. She said she couldn't get hold of Mr Earplugs (even though he had given her 2 different phone numbers to get him on!) and when I queried the Ed Psych referral she said my GP needed to do it. For goodness sake!! I'd already told her that the GP won't do any referrals and that it was the GP who told me to ask her. So now, about 2 months after I first asked, she said she will speak to her boss about bypassing the system - whatever the system is - and getting Nipper's name on the Ed Psych list.
It's three months since we saw the Paediatrician and we are getting nowhere fast. I wish I knew how we are supposed to get the referrals we need because at the moment everyone just keeps saying that it's someone elses responsibility and we don't know if anything is actually being taken forward. It's stressful enough dealing with Nipper's problems without having this hassle as well!