I really admired the way the staff went about their respective tasks, efficiently and courteously

I was admitted to East Surrey Hospital (Cardiology) for a pacemaker implant having been experiencing periods of dizziness and my 24 hour pulse monitor having shown irregular heart beats and stoppage of pulse overnight for periods of almost four seconds (atrial fibrilation). The procedure was done in September by Dr. Saha and I was discharged at lunchtime on Monday.

The attention I received from the medical staff and others throughout my stay was brilliant and I really admired the way they went about their respective tasks, efficiently and courteously.

Josie Wales

The NHS worked for me…

I went to A&E with dizziness and weakness in my hand which rapidly degenerated to double vision, weakness in my back and breathing and lack of control over my legs and a loss of reflexes. Two and a half weeks later, I have been successfully treated for a rare autoimmune disorder.

The neurology department at Frenchay were fast to recognise a varying array of symptoms to provide a preliminary diagnosis of the rare Guillain–Barré syndrome, where the immune system mistakenly attacks the peripheral nervous system. After an initial observation period, the treatment was swift and stopped the progression of the disorder in its tracks. This swift diagnosis and action prevented GBS from taking full grip (full body paralysis is typical). Due to the rate of deterioration, scans etc were prioritised for me and doctors gave up their break during lectures to facilitate nerve conductor tests, one consultant even took me to an MRI scan himself to ensure that it would take place in a timely fashion. My history was taken into account and a full battery of tests were run for tropical diseases.

The fact that I was discharged two and a half weeks later is testament to the early diagnosis and great efforts of the neurology team at Frenchay – the doctors and nurses alike. Areas for improvement would be improved staff coverage and consistent handover between shifts and improvement of cleaning services.


67 year old husbands heart problem

My husband visited our GP in May to complain about tightness in his chest, palpitations & dizziness. He was told this could possibly be due to a leaky valve & referred him to the Ilkeston cardiology dept.

In June the Doctor there put him on beta blockers & referred him to the warfarin clinic as any heart treatment would require his blood to be less sticky, in order to avoid blood clots, which could lead to a stroke. The cardiologist in Ilkeston Hospital also referred him to the cardiology dept at the Nottingham City Hospital.

An appointment was sent through for him for early Oct, which even our GP thought was rather a long wait. This appointment was then cancelled by the hospital & another one made for the end of October.

My husband sent a letter of complaint to the Chief Exec of the QMC in August. This letter remains unacknowledged but he has now been sent a fresh appointment for slightly earlier in Oct. Not good, is it, when one is left waiting for 5 months between seeing a GP to seeing a heart specialist. Even then he doesn’t think the appointment will give him more than another referral after that doctor has seen & spoken to him.

Meanwhile our life is on hold until we know when or even if, there is going to be any treatment. He wouldn’t have had to wait this long to have a bad tooth looked at!



I woke up one morning with a roaring sound in my left ear and felt dizzy and just awful. Rang my GP and as it was a weekend, ended up at the Northern General (Sheffield). I was seen quite quickly and reassured that the symptoms suggested tinitus. I was given some pills to stop the dizziness and this indeed soon went away. I went to see my GP and he also suggested this was the likely issue. I was given some literature to read about the issues and told that basically, there was little that could be done. I’d just have to get used to the ringing sound. I was referred to a specialist and got an appointment within a few weeks. My hearing was thoroughly tested and tinitus was confirmed as the problem, and I left with some literature on how best to manage the symptoms. In all it was a good ‘patient’ experience and I was given great professional care. Well done NHS!!


Wonderful care for my mother at James Cook University Hospital

It took a few months of my mother getting to know the paramedics and the staff of the acute assessment ward, as she was repeatedly brought into this ward with severe palpitations, and some dizziness. The staff were absolutely brilliant, and while my mother was embarrassed as no sooner had she taken up a bed, than she was discharged many times over about three or four months. This is in no way a complaint as the staff would reassure my mother that she had done the right thing by calling the hospital, and that she was in the right place and that blood tests, ECG’s & observations were absolutely necessarry for someone with her condition.

These few months were a time when both my mum and I grew a little weary and concerned, but each time either of us voiced concerns we found the doctors from both accute assessment and cardiology to be easy to talk to, and very clear and gentle, alleviating any worry or anxiety we had. Not only that, but the busy nurses always found time to cheer us up.

Dr James, my mothers consultant and surgeon was wonderful during his consultation with my mother during an appointment made as an outpatient before her treatment. He reassured us that a pacemaker was the way to go, and we went home happy in the knowledge that mum would soon be fixed. While waiting to be called in for the op, mum had once again been rushed in by the paramedics, and this time was taken to the cardiology pre admissions ward and informed she could possibly be in for the rest of the week as they were trying to fit her surgery in. During this time, although she had prepared herself for her operation and been informed that it would be within the week, she was discharged. We were a little upset, but only in the sense of being a little high with our own thoughts that mums surgery was imminent, and this was a new ward to us, it seemed on that afternoon that from our emotional high we were now somewhat down. I was very concerned, and thought perhaps there were people who’s need was greater than ours. My mother was by tea-time looking forward to getting into her own home once more, and we had resigned ourselves to the idea that she would be called in by appointment for her procedure. Once again the nurses on this ward made us feel better, they were so sweet and considerate and warm.

We did not have to wait for an appointment because once more within the same week mum was rushed into the acute assessment unitl with chest pains, this time after the usual tests she was taken back to the other ward. I think it was the very next day, and during visiting hours, that i was able to see she was comfortable before she went in for her surgery, an ablation and the pacemaker. The very next day i came to visit to find her sat up in her chair and dressed and ready to go home.

It has been just over a week since her op and she looks and feels great. We cannot thank you enough. You are amazing.


Follow up appointment from my surgery in 2008

I had Neuro Surgery in March 2008 for a hind brain hernia. I had a few complications post surgery and was actually re-admitted 3 times in as many weeks. At an outpatient appointment a year later the doctor who performed the operation said they would “keep an eye on me” and send for me approximately every 2 years or so. However, for several months I had been experiencing some swelling at the site of my wound which was starting to concern me along with some periods of dizziness so I decided to ring the Hallamshire and ask if I had an outpatient appointment coming up. I was then sent a letter with an appointment for March 2011.

When I arrived for my appointment I was eventually seen by a registrar the doctor said he would also come in to see me when he had finished seeing another patient. However I saw a different doctor who was very friendly and asked me how I had been etc and then asked me what the outcome of the scan I had last year was. I was confused as I haven’t actually had a scan since leaving the Hallamshire in 2008. It transpired that this doctor had the wrong patient record open on his computer screen. When I explained my symptoms the doctor thought it would be sensible to send me for an MRI Scan to see exactly what was happening in my head and completed the MRI request form accordingly. Then the Doctor who operated on me in 2008 entered the room and it was his attitude towards me which I wish to “complain” about.

He asked the doctor I had been speaking to for a brief explanation of what I’d told him. He dismissed my dizziness as “probably” an inner ear infection and suggested I go to my GP. When I told him it was not merely a bit of dizziness but that during one particular episode of dizziness I had felt as though I was going to pass out. He said he would not give me brain surgery for a BIT of dizziness! This is not what I was asking for and said my main concern was the swelling I was experiencing at the back of my head where my wound site is. He put a couple of fingers at the back of my head and asked me to cough. This apparently showed him that there was nothing wrong (I cannot remember the medical terminology he used I’m afraid).

During this time he also made a comment about how much weight I had put on since he saw me last – which I feel is totally irrelevant to my reason for being there, not to mention insulting, personal & downright bad manners. He also inferred that why he should waste his time performing brain surgery on me to improve my quality of life when I was so obviously not taking care of myself – again with regards to my weight gain.

In conclusion, he said an MRI was totally unnecessary and gave the already completed form back to the doctor for him to dispose of and dismissed myself and my husband, leaving me feeling upset that I had wasted his time and that I still didn’t really have the peace of mind that an MRI Scan would have given me.


Gastroenterology Consultation

I was referred by my GP to Gastroenterology as I have had problems with both ends many times a day for over two years, but I have had ongoing problems for 12 years, but in the last few years it’s got worse and I lost nearly 4 and a half stone in 6 months and my GP ran some tests but couldn’t figure out why so they asked the specialist for help. I waited in a freezing cold waiting room in Cossham for an hour and 45 minutes, was greeted by a very rude young person who turned out to be the specialist, they barraged me with abuse as i had been in the toilet when they came out. They didn’t bother asking me my symptoms and every time I tried to speak or show them the symptoms list I bring with me to specialist appointments, they wouldn’t let me talk, they shouted me down, they then accused me of making myself ill on purpose to get attention, they spent 15 minutes speaking to me as if i was a piece of dirt and highly unworthy of their time or attention, trying to get me to agree with their diagnosis and told me they were sending me to a dietician and another specialist to talk about my eating disorder – the eating disorder they decided i had. They examined me then was very rude, i suffer balance/dizziness issues and mobility issues and couldn’t get off the couch quickly enough for them , hthe consultant was rude and berated me until i was able to get off the couch and sit down again. They said they would book an Endoscopy which they told me repeatedly was a waste of their time and asked me if i was comfortable wasting the NHS’s money. On the day of the Endoscopy i had very bad vertigo and rang to cancel, i left a message then was telephoned back by a nurse who told me the specialist who told them to tell me when my symptoms returned to book another appointment, i asked them what they meant as it was a constant chronic condition and i had cancelled it as i was too dizzy to attend, the nurse said shthey were passing on a message then as i was talking to them about rearranging the appointment they hung up. Am still waiting for a follow up appointment which was already cancelled twice with the consultant which I doubt is coming, and I’m still waiting for appointment to see a Dietician or the other specialist because this rather rude consultant seems to think I have an eating disorder. Is it even worth making a formal complaint because i doubt very much it will make much difference when people behave as if they are a law unto themselves. I’ve lost another stone and am unable to eat solid food or keep down most liquid now, my GP is doing the best they can. God Bless the NHS.


treated very badly

today i called 111 to book an appointment at urgent care in bishop auckland. after discussing my symptoms the nurse i spoke to strongly advised me that i needed an eight minute ambulance as i had some pain in my chest, i said i would be happier with an appointment after work but she quite rightly was quite insistant on this. my complaint is not with the 111 service or the ambulance service i recieved. when i arrived at the memorial hospital i was treated very badly indeed i was made to feel i should not have arrived by ambulance, even though this was on strong advice from 111. staff very surly performed an ecg test which showed nothing but paid no attention to me telling them that i had many other symptoms including numb hands and feet pain in head and behind eyes and also that i was waiting to see a neurologist regarding these symptoms and also dizziness and some slight confusion. i was told i could have a chest xray in 3 hours time but that would be a waste of my time and theirs and that i should go home. i was disgusted and upset by this treatment and felt i was treated with no dignity al all by the staff in the hospital. i was not advised on the hospital shuttle bus or any other transport which was appalling as i was there on my own with no way of getting home to crook which is about 15 miles away. to say the least i am very upset with the treatment i received at this hospital. i myself work for social services in a care environment and if i saw a service user being treated like that i would be appalled. i still have all the symptoms i had when i visited the hospital, i feel no proper investigation was done and i was not listened to at all. i understand hospitals are busy places but everyone has the right to dignity.


Referral to Neurology Department

I was referred to the Neurology department by my doctor following server headaches and dizziness. I found that all the staff from the porters through to the chief consultant were extremely friendly and helpful. I had to have a variety of tests such as a CT scan, lumber puncture and an MRI scan. Although I had to wait some time for the various tests to be carried out I was constantly being updated with the progress and more importantly the reason why such tests were being undertaken. Both consultants that I saw were very informative and explained in detail the outcome of all my results. Both my wife and I felt that I had received a thorough examination which we were extremely grateful for. There are some excellent individuals within the NHS who work under difficult circumstances and people should try and remember that.

Matthew Bullock