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At my last appointment with Dr S, he asked me if I had received an appointment for the next CT scan. He said he had ordered one at the beginning of January for the week beginning 22 February. I hadn’t had a letter, but hoped I would get one soon. Ten days later I began to worry. I phoned Waitakere Hospital and asked to be put through to the radiology department. I gave the woman on the end of the phone my NHI number and asked her when my scan was booked for. After checking she came back to me and said she would put me through to the booking clerk. I got an answerphone message and left my details and why I was calling.

Several hours later I got a phone call and was told that no appointment had been made, that they were really behind with their CT scan appointments and were having to run clinics on the weekend. However, I was not eligible for a weekend scan – I didn’t ask why – so I would have to have one during the week. Fortunately they managed to fit me in for a scan on Wednesday 24 February. I asked that I be sent a letter confirming the appointment.

I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t phoned and organised a suitable time for this really important scan. It makes me very nervous. Cancer patients should not have to chase up getting an appointment for a scan and ensuring it is done prior to the next appointment with their oncologist.