Losing hope in my skin treatment

I am twenty years old, and I have two beautiful children. In February this year I began to get a rash which covered my entire face and made numerous circular rashes all over my body. I got referred to the conquest after my doctor said to could be infected eczema, the hospital saw me, after leaving me looking like a monster in the waiting area for over an hour after an urgent referral.

I was told by a doctor I actually had impetigo, although was given nasal treatment and antibiotics for mrsa! Then left to wait again for these medicines in the waiting area with numerous other patients who could have contracted this disease. There was blood on one of the armchairs, and I was left for hours waiting looking the way I did and suffered humiliation and fear, my skin has always been beautiful. I eventually got home, after roughly two weeks the rash started to disappear. And then came back again with a vengeance, I rang the hospital many times as it was truly horrific. I was told the earliest “urgent appointment” was two days away. Even though I was told if my symptoms worsened they would see me straight away. I eventually saw a specialist in skin, who gave me creams and more antibiotics.

The rash continued to come back every time there was even a little improvement. I was ashamed to leave my home, my children were scared of the sight of me, and generally my rash was accompanied by fever and pain of my joints. I continued to try, I begged the skin doctor please help me. He then took a skin biopsy and told me to come off the antibiotics as they wouldn’t help me, he didn’t tell me why he was taking a biopsy. I later found out he was trying to diagnose lupus. The results came back negative, and my skin rash had cleared a little through antimalarials, so he said to make an appointment and he would see me in 5 weeks. I was so frightened of looking and feeling this way for the rest of my life, and i received in the post two weeks later for in 4 MONTHS time, I just didn’t know what to do.

My joints are continually getting worse, my skin rash comes back after every menstrual period and nobody seems to care. I have lost all faith in the NHS and I just don’t know what to do anymore


Excellent care

I was extremely pleased with the treatment that I received in the Doncaster Royal Infirmary Hospital. I had excess water on my lungs and breathing problems. They took lots of tests and changed my medication and not I feel so much better. I have to go back for an appointment in late May. I felt the care from the nurses and doctors that I received was excellent.


This isn’t good enough

I arrived on time to my appointment at Jessops Wing of the Royal Hallamshire Hospital. The waiting room was busy with a loud TV (Jeremy Kyle – which I don’t think is appropriate viewing for children who were present. Or for adults for that matter…). There were no newspapers, only four very old, torn and dirty magazines. There were half empty patient information racks all over the place.

I was kept waiting for over an hour without any warning or being advised what was happening. After asking, I had to wait another 40 minutes. The whole process took 2 hours for less than 10 minutes with the consultant, including an exam. Now I have 10 weeks to wait for my next appointment for an ultra sound to find the problem. This isn’t good enough – too long to wait.


Outpatient appointments constantly deferred at southport & Ormskirk hospitals

I am diabetic and have liver function problems, my appointments for both these consultants are constantly being messed about.

The liver specialist asked for me to see him in 3 months, the appointment was made before I left the hospital, then within days of the appointment a letter came deferring it for another 3 months.

As that time got near it was again deferred by the hospital appointments system. Then I received a letter saying they had had to cancel my appointment and would be in touch, needless to say I never heard from them.

When a year since my last appointment was coming up and still no word from the hospital, I rang the consultants secretary and demanded an appointment.

When I went in to see the consultant they wished they seen me sooner. I explained the situation,of which they were unaware and appeared unhappy about.

The consultant said I must ensure this does not happen to my next appointment, and guess what I have already received a letter saying to improve their services they have cancelled my appointment and are not making appointments over six weeks.

Has anyone told the consultants as they always give 3 or six month referral visits, so it could be no one will get an appointment. In my opinion this will certainly make your appointments waiting list look good, but can we ensure that we all get the appointment we should have and will we get enough notice to get the blood tests done before the appointment as requested by the consultants.

This is also happening with my appointments to the Diabetic clinic. I have instructed my family to take all possible action if anything happens to me due to this new system as having health problems is bad enough without struggling to gain access to your consultant. A copy of this is being posted to the Trust at Ormskirk and Southport hospitals, watch this space to see If I even get an answer.


Waiting Forever

My Wife was referred to the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH) Stanmore by Maidstone Hospital for chronic back pain, in April/May of 2009.

RNOH offered an appointment in November, which was attended, the consultant requesting a bone density scan and an MRI, which was scheduled for December, which was also attended.

The next appointment offered was for May 2010, which we had every intention of attending, but has now been rescheduled for November 2010, apparently the consultant is due to attend “Study training course” when the May appointment was made for.

I think surely the consultant does not know that he will be attending these courses, surely they are planned months in advance. In my opinion they also know that they will be going on holiday, so why do they not programme in these periods into the appointment calendar (even approximately), if they are then changed, appointments can be rearranged around them.

It will now be almost a year to the day before we see the consultant again, providing it is not cancelled in the meantime, for a holiday, training course or sickness.

The current appointment plan operates a six month cycle “end of the queue” system, with no leeway for exceptions, which I feel is totally crazy.

I think the MRI scan will be out of date, so if another is needed it will be another six months for the next appointment and then the conference and holiday season kicks in again. In my opinion this is a total waste of patients and hospital time.

Whatever happened to the 18 week “end waiting” programme, that I heard was supposed to come into force from December 2008. I have not seen this at RNOH.

The consultants and surgeons may be brilliant, when you get admitted, but try to see them as an outpatient I think requires a different type of patience.


What I think Mayday hospital could improve

1. Improve signage to Gynae department – one sign in corridor, then nothing. Also, sign IN gynae department to show people the way out to main corridor.

2. When there is nothing wrong after treatment, why not WRITE to the patient and tell them instead of making them come all the way to Mayday, wasting their time and the doctor’s time?

3. Why make patients wait what seems to be a default time of ten minutes even when the Doctor is not seeing someone else?

4. I think it would be a good idea if the Doctor could read the patient’s notes before the patient enters the room and not while the patient is being seen.

Also, a poor woman was waiting to be seen today in Gynae, having had a questionable result and then was told that she had been booked into the wrong clinic and that she would have to make another appointment, in the right clinic. (I imagine that she would have a wait for another appointment). No apology and let us see if we can get you fitted in today; just sorry, you’ll have to make an appointment. When asked if that was all right, the lady explained that she had had to take time off work – and would obviously have to take more time off work for the new appointment, to say nothing of the worry. I cannot say that the nurse was laughing afterwards but in my opinion she seemed quite amused. I feel that this no way to treat patients.


Listen to me, Respect me, Assess me properly

I have had serious pain and had difficulty walking for over four years.

My first attempt to get help from the GP resulted in them telling me, “You are getting old it comes with age.” The doctor considered that it was depression and prescribed antidepressants. He did not ask my history and I feel did not seem interested in my problems. I did not think I was depressed but did take the medicine. It didn’t improve anything and my pain was still there.

I deteriorated and the pain was worsening. I felt like the doctor looked more earnestly at the screen and rarely at me. He seemed always in a hurry and I felt had no time to listen. I continued for a long time trying to be stoical about the pain. I heard about a sympathetic doctor at our surgery. I made an appointment to see him.

Eventually this doctor listened and sent me for a scan. I had damage to my spine. I had surgery which was successful. The people at the hospital were wonderful. Following this there was a period of two weeks when I had a holiday in Wales and was able to walk three or four days along the gentler parts of the coastal path.

Later I had Physiotherapy and the pain from the exercises was unbearable. I felt like no one listened to me and I was brushed off. My physiotherapist discharged me.

I saw another GP who re-referred me back to the neuron-surgeon.

It was decided to do further surgery on my back. I waited and had a date for surgery. I had two pre op appointments I attended both and then five different admission dates all being cancelled.

To get ready for surgery packing toiletries and pyjamas and getting ready in your mind to only be told it was off, repeatedly was shattering for me.

Eventually we saw the surgeon who was unhappy with the plan for surgery and sent me for another x-ray. This resulted in the very clear evidence that I had severe osteoarthritis the head of the hip bone which had no definition.

Why was there not a proper assessment initially? I feel that if my doctor had time and patience to listen to me instead of rushing and not speaking to me but talking to the screen, then there may have been a different outcome. I am now waiting to see another surgeon to deal with my hip. I understand that my GP surgery met all its targets and is considered first class, but not to me as I think targets have come before people.


Appointment could have offered more information

My 4years old son was taken to the Sheffield Children’s Hospital and he was looked after and dealt with professionally and promptly. We were out of there within an hour. I then detached my short hand, right bicep tendon and spent 5hours in casualty at the Northern General Hospital. I was seen the nest afternoon the nest afternoon by a consultant in orthopaedics who I felt was show-boating in front of their new students. They fortunately passed me on to a 2nd consultant when I questioned him. My care from then on was excellent.

Although my operation was postponed once due to the lack of a suitable screw for my operation, it did however take place within a week of the initial injury and I am making good recovery.

Post-0p would have been better if my first appointment had offered me more information rather than being held by a Junior doctor how seemed to be just going through the motion. The 2nd appointment was very much better


I feel the doctor did not listen to me

I attended the Gastroenterology clinic at UCH to continue treatment for an ulcerative colitis. I would like to say that I am very unhappy with the treatment and lack of respect for my wishes and 37 years of experience in coping with my colitis.

I was forced to come to UCH because the Homeopathic Hospital (where I had been treated for 34 years) could no longer provide adequate care due to closure of patient facilities.

I had been treating my flare ups with antibiotics successfully for 15 years, which had enabled me to reduce my Prednisolone to 2.5mg. I asked my doctor for a change of antibiotics because I was starting an exacerbation. She declined to give them to me.

I was sent off with instructions to use enemas, which were impossible as they caused pain and itching and caused a lot of bleeding. I rang for an emergency appointment which did not materialise for three weeks. By this time the disease was totally out of control. My ESR was 84 and I was in a lot of pain.

With unsuccessful treatment I am now back on 30mg Prednisolone knowing I shall probably be made to reduce these back to 2.5mg due to growing resistance to antibiotics. Apart from unnecessary and prolonged pain and suffering my future health has been compromised by the steroids.

I warned my doctor but she ignored me.


Delayed appointments

On the 19/03/09 I went for an appointment to see the doctor for dermatology problem. The doctor sent for an appointment at the Montague Hospital and I was instructed to ring after five days. So I rang on the 25/03/09 and informed that no appointments were available and that I should ring again in 14days, if no appointment was received. I then rang on the 07/04/09 and was advised to ring my doctor. I rang on the 10/04/09 and I left a message for the doctor, as he was busy. The doctor rang me in the afternoon to say he had rung Montague Hospital. The lady in charge was apparently on holiday and two other ladies did not know what to do. So the doctor submitted a second request. On the 14/04/09 I received a phone call from DRI and an appointment was arranged for 18/04/09. I attended the DRI on that date and the appointment only took two minutes. I am now awaiting an appointment for the removal of a benign cyst.