Care and compassion shown to my father

I would just like to express my thanks for the care and compassion shown to my father on a recent trip to the QEII in Welwyn Garden City. Following a cardiac episode he was seen by he GP who referred him to the QEII. He has long standing chronic issues, as well as cancer.

He was triaged promptly and the medical and nursing staff were professional and supportive at all times during his whole stay. The young Irish nurse in the Clinical Decsion Unit was lovely and the young doctors and registrar treated my father with dignity and respect. They took time to explain what they were doing and kept us informed.

He is a colourful character and can be quite loud as he is deaf and has lost his hearing aid. Everyone took the time to listen to him and share a few words and support.

The only thing which was slightly jarring note was the radio which was on in the background until I turned if off. I was not clear who it was for and as my father is hard of hearing this made some communication difficult.

This is the third time the QEII have supported and saved my fathers life he is very thankful for thier continuing support and kindness. He hopes he won’t see them again anytime soon!

Please pass these comments to the whole team and our thanks for all the work they do to support people such as my father.

Thankful relative

Hearing Aid Repair Nightmare

I’m 67 and deaf. I am an author and magician but even I could not imagine the nightmare of attempting to have my hearing aids repaired, following the transfer of audiology services to a NHS Care Provider, InHealth Ltd.

I have been trying, unsuccessfully, to get, InHealth Ltd to repair my hearing aids, something that was never a problem until they became my Audiology care provider.

I have met three of InHealth’s employees: the first at the DRI when upon arriving for an appointment for a hearing aid repair, I was greeted by someone who I felt knew less about hearing aids than my cat, and I do not own a cat. It became apparent that this person’s sole purpose was to arrange a hearing assessment and then said to me that once I had the hearing assessment they will decide whether my hearing aid is broken or not.

The second time I met this employee was in January 2010, at the Audiology clinic held at White Lion Square, Ilkeston. I heard once again this person telling everyone in the queue that they needed re-testing. I think the eight other people in the same queue all, like myself, left with, un-repaired hearing aids, and instructions to apply for re-testing.

Fortunately my hearing aid started working again off its own accord a few days later.

While spending a few days in Paris 12th – 16th February, both my hearing aids stopped working, possibly I think because of the subzero temperatures. I contacted InHealth and was delighted to hear that a technician would pay me a home visit.

I received a home visit by an audiologist, I think, I cannot be sure as his back-pack remained firmly closed and no attempt was made to repair my hearing aids, but booked me in, yes, you’ve guessed it, for a full hearing assessment, in Alfreton for March.

Alfreton is only an hour and a half away, by bus, all three of them to travel just twelve miles. Plus the return journey, three hours traveling in all. I think I might go ‘Green’ and go by car and save two hours, twenty minutes of traveling time.

In the meantime, I cannot hear, conversations, fire alarms or telephones, my wife has developed a soar throat caused by shouting in my ear, and I am having to cancel bookings for my services as a clown/magician.

Take my advice and do not become deaf in Derbyshire.


Rude audiologist

I saw an Audiologist at Telford Princess Royal Hospital last week to fit new digital hearing aids. Not seen this audiologist before, they:

1. Yelled my name out in waiting room (bonus points for lacking deaf awareness in my opinion)

2. Told me off for daring to want hearing aids that were not god awful brown colour (my new ones are purple and red).

3. Yelled ‘can you hear me’ when they were fitted.

4. Told me off for stock piling hearing aid batteries and gave me 2 packets – I know for a fact that each battery doesn’t last a week in each aid so a packet lasts 3 weeks. I work, why should I have to go to the hospital every time I need new batteries. I have to take time off work to go.

5. Told me I should not have been given different coloured hearing aids, only kids get them and even then rarely.

6. Made me sit with testing equipment on when it was uncomfortable.

7. Decided the settings on my aids (surround sound, induction loop, directional eg noisy situations) without asking me and when I challenged them they said ‘what order do you want them in then’ really sharply.

8. Insisted on crossing out the pages not relevant to my digital aids. A) I am not stupid and B) it is insulting to be treated like you are stupid. I didn’t want the audiologist to write the settings in, I asked for it in a separate piece of paper because I knew they would be changed the following week.

9. Told me they were setting the sounds lower so to save what hearing I had

10. Said my current aids were unsuitable for my hearing loss (which I feel is absolute rubbish, I’m getting new ones to work with my mobile phone)

In all I found this person patronising, I felt they were arrogant and completely rude.

They concluded the appointment by saying it was over ‘because I have things to do’.

I’m returning next week to see my usual audiologist and will be making a complaint.


Feeling let down by the NHS

Since the 15th January 2006 I have suffered with dizziness, the room literally spins. The spins vary in strength and can happen at any time sitting or standing or walking but are at their most violent when laying down on my right side. I have tinnitus and loss of hearing and constantly feel light headed as is suffering from the flu. When I am tired the symptoms are much more prevalent. No medicines that I have been prescribed have alleviated the symptoms.

I was able to see a ENT Consultant eventually after a long wait for an outpatient appointment at King George who sent me for various tests which included a MRI Scan in Oct 2006. That Scan showed that I had a cyst on the brain left cerebellopontine angle the size is 25mm by 12mm. Unfortunately on each of the four appointments that I have had subsequently since having the MRI scan, I have never actually seen any of the Consultants being able to load the images on the computerised system when my name is entered it did not show any results. Today after another outpatient appointment I have been discharged by the Neurologist as they do not think that the cyst is the cause of my symptoms.My question is did they ever look at the scan images to make this diagnosis.

I have also been referred to Queens at Romford for a hearing aid, only today after a wait of nearly three months have I been informed that the waiting list is 18months unless you are fortunate to reach your eighties. I have also been told to do cawthorne cooksey exercises, these exercises by rightly should be carried out with the help of a physio again no offer to book a physio for me. Neither is there any guarantee that the exercises will treat my symptoms they may even exacerbate the symptoms. I am having to make my own physio arrangements luckily we do have a private health care plan that will pay for part of the treatment.

After today I feel that I have been totally let down by the NHS, I may look perfectly healthy on the outside but these symptoms are far from normal and preferably I would like to get my life back on track in the very near future. So far the impression on a diagnosis i am getting from the NHS is that “Tough I will just have to live with it!”


Terrible attitude and long wait at ENT clinic Bolton

I went in early September to Bolton hospital ENT clinic for an appointment. The treatment was fine, just as expected. I was there after my police medical showed my hearing was down on one side.

However, I felt the waiting times were disgraceful. I had to wait one hour before my appointment and then a further 20mins before being seen again. The attitude of the staff in the clinic was awful. They had poor communication and seemed to have no interest in the welfare of the patients. Their attitude in general was appalling, from what I saw. The attitude of the receptionist who dealt with me was also terrible.


Happy with the urgent care centre at Guy’s

I was quickly triaged by a lovely and efficient nurse and seen by the doctor in under an hour. The doctor was professional, thorough in their assessment, and reassuring.

Staff cooperation: a HCA/nurse got a telling off from a senior colleague in the waiting area (both staff were from elsewhere in the hospital). The HCA/nurse then referred to a patient’s wife as ‘the wife’ in her hearing, as in ‘speak to the wife’ – not appropriate.

Environment: the TV was tuned to Jeremy Kyle…seemed a bit rowdy for a hospital waiting room with some anxious patients.

Overall, a good experience. Thanks team!


Outpatient experiences

I first visited Barnet General`s ENO dept. for my hearing.

The department was extremely busy and full but I was seen more or less on time.

I was very pleased with all the treatment I received.

I was fitted with a hearing aid, again everything was done on time and I was impressed by the kindness of all staff who were working under pressure.

In March I was taken ill in the night and the emergency GP was called, paramedics also attended and I was taken by ambulance to Barnet General.

I was treated immediately upon arrival and again I cannot speak too highly of all the medical staff I saw then and during the rest of the day.

I have been back to the Cardiology Department since for several appointments.

Apart from the day when the Consultant did not turn up I have not had to wait to be seen and every person I have had contact with has been excellent.

On the one occasion when the Consultant was absent I saw another cardiologist who was `bussed in` from Chase Farm, they were working under great pressure but they were polite kind and professional throughout.

I have no complaints, only praise, for Barnet General Hospital and for all my dealings with the NHS.

I am 75yrs old and have had plenty of experiences of the NHS.


Staff incompetence

I arrived at the audiology reception 10 minutes before my appointment and the receptionist told me where to sit and wait. I waited for half an hour and the audiologist then came to me and asked my name. They said I must have arrived late and then re-tubed my hearing aids. They then took me back to reception where the receptionist admitted they had failed to book me in. I was given a cursory apology by this receptionist. I feel their attitude leaves a lot to be desired.


Ear problem

I came to

The hospital with a ear problem i was bleeding out of my right ear and it was sore the nurse looked inside my eara and sent me home telling me it was nothing to worry about… I was appalled and didappointed.. The nurse i did not get their name told me nothing to worry about now its been few few months and now i have hearing problems… Im soo angry they did not even care and iv been through alot with my ears.., im really scared to go doctors now i have lost trust in them…


Lack of helpful support with hearing loss at Leicester Royal

ENT dept of Leicester Royal Infirmary to see consultant or member of his team for hearing problem.

Patient names were called out, no visual display, a bit of a problem. On finally getting in to see my specialist the layout of the consultation room was such that I was sat behind him and he was talking to his desk. I had to remind him that I was deaf and needed to see his face to lip read to back up the use of hearing aids. I had to remind him more than once.The window was open in the room, it was a warm day and this was ok until there was a delivery and lots of noise outside. i had to explain that the noise outside was actually overtaking everything that he was saying to me and had to ask him to wait until the vehicle had left.

He told me that I already had hearing aids, which I had bought privately, and that was the best that could be done. If I ever needed them adjusting I could call in and he would see what the technicians could do. i explained that my audiologist at Boots reviewed and adjusted as necessary every 6 months. I asked if there was any chance of getting on the waiting list for NHS aids and was ignored.

He asked what I had expected and I explained that even after 5 years of using hearing aids I was still experiencing difficulties in certain situations which he clearly witnessed, and that I was looking for some help with this so that I could hear better in meetings at work. He suggested that I go back to my GP and ask for a referral to a hearing therapist, but all they could offer was common sense. I felt offended both for myself and the profession of hearing therapists with the implication that I must be a little dim if I hadn’t managed to work things out for myself by now and that hearing therapists just offered common sense despite no doubt having at least a post graduate qualification.

He did suggest that the hearing loss may be due to a viral infection and taking a blood test would confirm if this is the case. I was assured that I would feel much better once I knew the cause of my hearing loss. I do feel that after 5 years I am not really too worried now about why I lost my hearing, but would like some help in coping at work.

I may not be able to hear but this specialist certainly was unable to listen. I came away frustrated and rather upset with the overall outcome of the visit. Having waited a few months for the appointment after having an MRI scan to find out if there was any damage, I am still no further ahead and feel that I have learned nothing of any use. I am still faced with the prospect of having to replace my current aids in the near future at a cost of around £4,000. I will have to start saving!!