"Inconsistent clinical opinion"

About: North Devon District Hospital / Neurology North Devon District Hospital / Ophthalmology

(as the patient),

Having been admitted for a swelling behind my eye, I was first seen by Opthalmology who wanted me to be assessed by the medical team. The medical team ran a number of tests and decided that there was a problem but had agreed I was able to fly on my very expensive family holiday but will need to be seen by Neurology as soon as I return. Opthalmology disagreed and said I need to see Neurology urgently and should cancel my holiday. I chose to go with the Medical teams advice - thankfully - as the appointment has been set for late October which doesn't seem very urgent.

Upon phoning the hospital, I was told I was routine and this decision was based solely on the Medical Team's referral which, if correct, taking into account the opthalmology opinion then is fine but, according to the secretary of the Neurologist, this is only based on the medical team's opinion.

2 point question - why/how can 2 clinical opinions be so different and how can an appointment be made based on only half the information? When I asked the secretary this question, she said the Neurologist hadn't read my medical notes, only the referral. Is this standard practice?

Now that I have complained about the incosistent approach by the Dr's, and explained I would be taking this further, suddenly I'm offered an appointment within a week.

So now I have asked to meet with Head of Communication, Director of Medical Services, The Chief Executive and at least 1 of the consultants. Do we think NDDH will say yes?

Why should the PALS office take calls from me? Maybe the Board should hear it direct and I would gladly meet with the Chief Executive and the board so they can hear first hand about patient dissatisfaction.

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Responses

Response from Jayne Kruszewski, Customer Relations Manager, Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear Patient

I am sorry I havent responded before now, however I was very sorry to read of the difficulties you have experinced.

Can I ask you to contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 01271 314090 to discuss your concerns further.

Many thanks

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