"Orthopaedics - Care & Communication Shambles"
About: Kingston Hospital Kingston Hospital Kingston Upon Thames KT2 7QB
I waited 6 weeks in debilitating pain, only to be seen by a consultant for four minutes. I then had to wait a further 6 weeks for an MRI, only to be told to wait two months for a follow up, where I would hear the results. During this time, I had been on so much pain medication that I could not function or work. I had been in A&E several times, once on morphine via IV, due to the pain. Even abroad, on a short break to try and escape the stress of daily management, I spent the majority of the time in A&E there on pethidine. When I returned, the A&E doctor managed to see my MRI results in minutes and said (I quote) "I hope you have private" At the point I literally wanted to die in pain, I went into an extreme debt to pay for private medical (even though we are already paying for NHS). I was admitted for emergency major surgery within 2 business days of seeing a specialist. It was based on this that I cancelled my MRI follow up appointment. 6 weeks later I was discharged from post-surgery outpatient care. On the 8th February 2014, I received a letter dated 17th December 2013, noting that I hadn't shown up for my follow up appointment (!), with a comment that my MRI "demonstrated possible causes of her symptoms" and they "look forward to discussing possible management options" After having scoliosis, sacroiliac dysfunction and numerous slipped discs over the years, I had remained a champion for the NHS. Until now. Now, I'm utterly disgusted and appalled. Just knowing that, if I had remained with the NHS, I would still be in excruciating pain only serves to reduce me to tears. It is still difficult to figure out if those tears are through relief of being without pain, through depression of being in debt to alleviate the pain, or pure recollection of how long I endured pain, how bad it was and how the agony is still so fresh in my memory. A last word on the MRI wait, where patients are advised it takes approximately 5 weeks (but "better wait 2 months") for the MRI results to be returned and read. The last (private) MRI I had, saw me walk out of the changing room and be handed the digital disc. Utter rubbish! If this was any other service provider, you would be entitled to a refund on the services you paid for but did not receive, as well as possible compensation.