"Negative experience of care for rare illness"
About: Leeds PCT Leeds PCT Leeds LS16 6QG
Posted by Mr Wicher (as ),
I have been a patient at the Street Lane Practice since we moved to Leeds 19 years ago, and rarely if ever visit. When I have it has been for straightforward matters like vaccination advice for international travel and I have found the nurse friendly and helpful. Two years ago I developed a rare disorder associated with high blood pressure and abnormal body chemistry. The treatment I got was off-hand and passive: I had to ask to be referred to a specialist; when I did see a GP I was asked the absolute minimum about how I was; I arranged my own tests without a word of thanks. The only appointment I was offered spontaneously was clearly so the practice could earn its QoF points. Despite taking (at that time) 5 drugs I wasn't asked about side effects - no QoF (Quality and outcomes framework) points = no interest. Interviews were impersonal to the point of rudeness, one GP didn't even introduce himself.
At my last appointment I started explaining something about how I felt emotionally after a stressful two years and I could tell the GP wasn't interested; I stopped talking in mid-sentence and he didn't notice. I felt humiliated by the experience. I have never been back and I have now changed practice. I don't need to see my new GP since I have had curative surgery at St James (excellent care, another story) and my depression eventually resolved spontaneously but at least I feel I could bring myself to go if I needed to.
I know my experience is not unique but I don't suppose you'll get many complaints. People tend to put up with patronising self-satisfied doctors.