"I felt treatment a bit dismissive and non helpful"

About: Raigmore Hospital / General Medicine

(as the patient),

After suffering pain with certain joints for over a decade and having many differing opinions by specialists, I returned to my gp because the pain and problems were no longer confined to pre-existing joints but were causing problems with everyday tasks, my gp was very good and listened to what exactly had been going on and understood why I had not been to see them sooner, they ran blood tests and when the results came back it showed elevated an inflammation marker so immediately referred me to the hospital to see a specialist.

My appointment came through quickly and upon receiving it I felt a little relief that finally perhaps I was going to be able to get to the root of the problem and be able to get the help needed in managing whatever was going on, however that relief was short lived as the moment I stepped into the consultation room with the doctor and sat down I was greeted with, "so you're here because one blood test out of many has come back showing an elevated inflammation marker", to start a consultation with that didn't bode well in my eyes as it came across to me like they were put out by my referral to the clinic.

Now during the rest of the consultation the consultant did seem to check certain things. However, when I tried to explain how it was affecting me, it was almost dismissed and made me feel like the whole thing had been a wasted trip. I had hoped to at least get some advice on how to help manage the pain in the interim but there was nothing, although further tests have been arranged I am wondering to myself if there is a point in attending any further appointments with the hospital as every time I have attended to do with my joint issues I have been pawned off with exercises from physiotherapy which have not helped and I feel like I am dismissed at every turn with none of the doctors, other than my latest GP believing the extent of the issues that the pain causes me.

I feel that a lot of the doctors look at my age and automatically dismiss me or they give conflicting information which doesn't help me. They seem to be lacking in empathy in general which really should be a key part to being a healthcare professional.

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Responses

Response from Maimie Thompson, Head of Public Relations and Engagement, Chief Executive's Office, NHS Highland

picture of Maimie Thompson

Dear INpain 14

I have to say my heart sinks when a patient opinion alert comes in under the description "dismissive and non helpful" - because its the last thing we want people to feel when they need our care and services.

I am really sorry and want to apologise. I couldn't agree more that empathy should be a key part to being a healthcare professional. My colleague Jo Veasey, who is one of the managers in Raigmore, has also read your alert.

If it would help, you Jo would like to find out more so that we can discuss with staff how we can make sure this doesn't happen again. You can email me at maimie.thompson@nhs.net; or call me on 01463 704722 and I can promise you we will take your feed-back very seriously. Please let me know if we can help in anyway.

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