"Excellent when it came to treatment....BUT......"

When it came to having my Spinal Injection and Spinal Surgery the staff were fantastic! Could not fault them at all! However trying to get treatment in the first place was a nightmare! I was referred by my GP via the NHS choose and book system but I was only given this hospital and one consultant/surgeon as a choice. I went to see this consultant many times about a slip disc on my lower and upper back and despite worsening pain and progressive muscle weakness in both areas I was denied treatment from one excuse to another. I requested this surgeon to scan my upper back on every visit but he refused and only ever scanned my lower back despite going in the scanner twice. It seemed one excuse was made after another denying me treatment I needed. And to add to it, my account on the choose and book system kept deactivating and I kept having to return to my GP to be re-referred for treatment. Eventually I was granted treatment (which was excellent). But after my op my symptoms returned again, the consultant again denied treatment and said to see how things go and said to contact him/her after a few months to get further treatment. When I tried to, my account had been deactivated AGAIN by the consultant his/herself! Fed up with being mucked around I went to see a different surgeon at an NHS hospital (another long wait) he/she granted me a full back scan that I should have received in the first place and has diagnosed me with permanent nerve damage caused by delayed treatment. I feel I wasn't treated fairly and I don't understand why, but according to my GP...there may be an issue with money between the government and private hospitals (which if it is) sickens me to think they can mess with people's lives like this. So I would recommend having treatment here without a doubt....best place you could be...but if you feel you're symptoms are not being taken seriously then go elsewhere. Wish I had done.

Story from NHS Choices

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Responses

Response from North Downs Hospital

Thank you for providing this feedback and I apologise if your experience was not as good as you would have expected. Every patient is an individual and as such there is not one "pathway" that works for each patient, your consultant would have assessed your individual symptoms to decide on what they felt was best for your care. I would be more than happy to discuss your individual case with you, particularly if we can learn from your experience to improve our service and the service provided by third party systems such as Choose and Book. If you would like to take up this opportunity please contact me at the hospital on 01883 348981. I can confirm that there is no issue with treatments taking place within a private hospital and we work to the same rules and payment terms as any other provider of NHS services, where we have been contracted to provide them. Regards, Stuart Emerson, General Manager, North Downs Hospital

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