"A waste of time and no information"

About: Southmead Hospital

I attended the orthopaedic clinic to be assessed. The MRI scan had not been explained as the previous person could not log onto the system and could not even book me another appointment. At this meeting I met a lady and told her that the MRI had not been explained. She got the information and simply said that first picture is of your full spine and the one below shows where you damage is. She then switched it off. No explanation of the damage. I spent approximately 15 minutes and I learned absolutely nothing. Only that the operation was major with complications and a long recovery - she said this 4 times. I was also told there was a waiting list of a year. I nearly reported this case to hospital management as my experience was awful

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Response from Southmead Hospital

Dear Alan H – I apologise that you experience of the orthopaedic clinic was poor. Every patient has the right to understand their symptoms and care plan and it is clearly not acceptable to not provide this on request. While it may have been the clinician assumed you were aware of the diagnosis and that the MRI scan was undertaken to confirm this they should have checked this was the case. I regret that the communication was not of the level that I would expect for any patient and I am sorry you were not given the opportunity to explore your concerns. Regrettably there is currently a national shortage of clinicians able to undertake complex spinal surgery and this is why you were warned of the delay in elective surgery and the long waiting lists. The Trust has sought to obtain support from other specialist centres and have recently appointed two new spinal surgeons to meet this growth in demand, but realistically it will take many months to recover the situation to reach the recommended 18 week target timescales for this type of surgery. I have fed your comments back to the orthopaedics service to help them improve patient communication. Kind Regards - Steve Sykes Advice and Complaints Team

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