"Awful Experience"

About: St Bartholomew's Hospital

Now that I had a little time to calm down and set all emotions aside I can finally share the experience I had with St Barts Breast Surgery Department. I first went there in Sep/Oct last year, had an ultrasound and a needle test. I was asked to come back in 3 months for a follow-up appointment and was booked in for January. About a month before the appointment I received a letter saying that my appointment has been rescheduled for the 2nd of June. I assumed it was due to a low risk group (I'm under 30), so I waited patiently till June. On June the 2nd I went into hospital and was told by a receptionist that my appointment had been cancelled. Full stop. No explanation was given and no new dates to reschedule. There was an elderly lady there, her appointment had been cancelled too. Even though I was extremely upset and emotional myself, I have to say I really felt for that lady. She'd had recent surgery and looked quite fragile; still she had to travel to the hospital just to find out that it was a waste of time. Understandably her and I were very upset. I mean, how difficult is it to make a phone call and let us know at least few hours in advance? And it wasn't a regular blood test; it's a serious matter for every woman and it really takes some time to get mentally prepared for it. So, later we were approached by the hospital representative who apologised on behalf of the hospital and promised us that someone would give us a call the day after to reschedule. No need to say no one called me the next day. Two days later I spoke to the same representative and she was quite surprised that I still hadn't heard from the hospital, so she said she would speak to them. I waited for a few days in vain and called the representative again, she was extremely nice and apologised for that matter saying that the breast surgery department said to her that they'd dealt with it. She told me to expect a call from them. Needless to say that no one called once again. I tried to stay somewhat calm and patient, but a couple weeks later still no call. So then I decided to call the breast surgery dept directly. I spoke to the receptionist, described the situation briefly and she promised that someone will be in touch as soon as possible to reschedule my appointment. Finally they met my expectations... as nobody called again. It's been over 6 weeks now and still counting. After my last try I got so frustrated that I decided that enough was enough and went to see a private consultant (I'm lucky to have that option). I have never been treated this way before and I'll never step foot again inside that department.

Story from NHS Choices

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