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


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.


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.


Wonderful dental surgeon

I attended the Manchester Dental Hospital for oral surgery in June. The dental surgeon was wonderful, very professional and reassuring. I received fabulous service except the waiting around was tedious. The receptionist at the oral surgery department was moody and not very helpful or welcoming. She was stressed no doubt as she was on her own.


Lack of care at DRI Surgical Assessment Unit

After waiting 8 hours in a cramped area with a lady of 85 who had been waiting for a bed in a decrepid wheelchair for over 9 hours, I think that this is appalling. I had been crushed under a trailer with severe bruising and I had consequently been urinating blood.

The elderly lady hadn’t eaten or even been offered a drink; she was by herself and was obviously shaken and scared. Even some of the nursing staff were eventually appalled when they learned of the situation.

It took 12 hours until I was eventually seen and had xrays and MRI scans.


Information screen in A&E

I recently visited A&E and viewed the large information screen, along the bottom of which was the message – watch this screen for information on waiting times. The information screen showed lots of info including health messages, about the hospital info and even private ads for companies selling products. It showed information about why waiting might be lengthy but at no time did it show any info about waiting times. I have attended other A&E departments in other hospitals where messages are displayed to the effect that the average waiting time is currently “x” hours, minutes, etc. The point of my story is that it is very frustrating to be shown a message relating to one of the most important thing patients want to know, how long they are likely to be waiting and then for the information not to be delivered. Can I suggest that either this is modified or that the scrolling promise at the bottom of the screen is removed?

Just 2 other points, the leaflet dispenser next to the screen was empty and one of the messages said that patients would be told how long they would have to wait but no one at reception gave this advice. The impression is one of promising customer care but not delivering it on the ground. It is obvious that A&E can be a very busy and stressful environment but a little more thought and care for customer information as promised by the Trust’s glossy image would go a long way to helping everyone.

I hope that this story will help the Trust improve its customer services.

im patient

Northampton vs. Milton Keynes General Hospitals

Today I had to take my daughter to Accidents and Emergency. After the last three experiences with Milton Keynes General Hospital, I decided to drive to Northampton instead.

I must say I was pleasantly surprised. We were triaged in about 20 minutes and seen to shortly after. The service was friendly, efficient and informative.

Over the last few years I’ve had to take various members of my family in to Milton Keynes General, and each time I was astounded by how dirty, inefficient, clumsy the treatment we have had has been.

For example, our most recent visit was when my son, then 3 years old, managed to cut his head open to the bone. We rushed him to A&E at MKGH only to sit waiting for three hours to see the Triage Nurse (odd considering there were only three other people in the waiting area the whole time we were there). This was the sign of things to come, as we managed to leave 7 hours later.

After these experiences I think the best thing to do to Milton Keynes General is for it to be closed down.

Well done Northampton General!


Long delay in cardiac outpatients dept

We attended Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham for a pre-arranged appointment to review recent exercise tolerance tests. The experience was less than pleasant due an acute over booking of 30 patients.

What makes it worse is that no one waiting to see the Dr was advised that there would be severe delays, bearing in mind this was a cardiac unit, the added stress was not beneficial.

What should they have done? Well, simply follow the guidelines set in other hospitals: keep the patient informed after 20 mins post appointment time, not overbook hard-pressed Drs, and finally take responsibilty and not “pass the buck” by not taking ownership where a complaint is made.

This is not a “whingeing ” complaint. My wife and daughter are heath care professionals who are involved in outpatient clinics. In their opinion the QE staff failed quite miserably, myself as a non-healthcare professional just found the 2 hr wait most inconvenient and this in turn dealyed the long journey home.


Poor Service at Great Western Hospital, Swindon

I had a series of tests carried out by Cardiology Dept and 3 months later the results of these tests had not been forwarded to either myself or my GP.

I made several telephone calls to the Cardiology Dept and most of the time the call was answered by a machine and despite leaving a message, nobody ever called me back. I eventually found the email address of one of the Doctors in the Dept and this doctor informed me their secretary would fax the results to my GP…

The results did not arrive and so I chased the Doctor on two further occasions. Again, the doctor said their secretary would be asked to send them through.

At the time of writing another week has passed and neither I nor my GP has any results.

Considering the nature of the tests, it is nothing short of poor professional standards, in my opinion, not to mention the anxiety of not knowing if there is anything wrong or not.


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.