"Wessex Neurological Centre"
About: Southampton General Hospital Southampton General Hospital Southampton SO16 6YD
I was referred to a Consultant Neurologist at the Wessex Neurological Centre in October 2013. Three weeks later, I received notification of an appointment in February 2014 – a waiting time of eighteen weeks. As two self-funded MRIs showed evidence of demyelination and my symptoms had deteriorated during the previous few months, I wrote to the Consultant Neurologist requesting an earlier appointment. My request was denied. The NICE guideline CG8 states – 'An individual who is suspected of having multiple sclerosis should be referred to a specialist neurology service, and seen rapidly within an audited time. The Guideline Development Group… opinion… no longer than 6 weeks from referral to being seen by a neurologist, and a further 6 weeks until any necessary investigations are completed'. In November 2013, I saw another Consultant Neurologist as a private patient. I was diagnosed with Parkinsonism, for which the appropriate medication was prescribed. The cause of the demyelination and the unresolved symptoms remain undiagnosed and untreated. At the beginning of 2014, I felt obliged to cancel the appointment at the Wessex Neurological Centre as I was no longer living at a permanent address in Hampshire. The cancellation was made well in advance, to enable the appointment to be offered to another patient. When I tried to make a new appointment, I was told my name had been taken out of the system and my request was refused. Neither the Consultant’s secretary, nor the OPD, could explain the reason for the removal of my name from the waiting list, or who was responsible for making the decision. During the past four months, I have written three letters to the Consultant Neurologist and spoken with his secretary on numerous occasions to request the return of my MRI recording. It appears the disc was in the Consultant’s possession, rather than being stored with medical records. In the event the Neurologist used the ID embedded images as a teaching aid and/or for any other purpose, he did so without my consent. When the recording was finally made available for collection, the CD was a Staples own-brand which does not appear to be DICOM compliant. Of greater importance is the absence of more than half the images. I understand the Consultant says he is not in possession of the original medical-grade disc. Perhaps the University Hospital Southampton and the Consultant Neurologist could reflect on the outcome of the physician’s apparent disregard for NICE recommendations; for a patient with two chronic neurological disorders; and for an important diagnostic tool.