"Other staff where kind, the doctor was not!"

About: Victoria Infirmary (Northwich)

After a wait of over 4 months, during which time i've been on anti inflammatory drugs that have bought visible joint swelling down, but has done nothing to ease the pain, stiffness or loss of movement in any of my joints, I finally saw the doctor. He is definitely not a people person. I was visibly distressed, but well prepared for my first appointment but he was only interested in looking at my hands and ankles. He did not ask all of the other questions a Rheumatologist is meant to ask when diagnosing the condition, I had to volunteer information about my highly active and outdoorsy lifestyle, my family history and the pain in my joints that is getting worse and worse and means I have no life outside of work and can no longer do simple things around the house. Symptoms like this are meant to form part of the diagnosis but the Dr was only interested in visible joint swelling on the day, despite all the pictures I showed him from 3 months ago when I was very poorly and my joints were visibly red, hot and swollen before I started anti inflammatory treatment. He was dismissive, showed zero empathy and tried to tell me that the pain in my joints that Is so bad I can no longer walk around a supermarket, is Fibromyalgia (which typically has nothing to do with pain and inflammation in joins). He didn't even offer me a tissue when I was sobbing after he hurt me so much when he examined me and got cross when it took me a while to manage to put my socks and shoes back on. He offered me no reassurance, was cold throughout and simply told me it was probably all caused by the Fibro, but offered me no information on what the condition is, or what it meant. There are 2 parts to being a Dr. the obvious medical knowledge and analytical skills being 1. The other critical part to being a good Dr is actually caring about your patients and understanding the stress and anguish they are going through. In my opinion, if you don't have those 2 skill sets you are not a good Dr. I've asked to see a different consultant.

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Response from Victoria Infirmary (Northwich)

I am very sorry to hear about your experience when you were seen by the Rheumatology doctor. I would like to help address your concerns and ask that you contact the Customer Care Team on 01270 612410. They will be able to obtain more details and enable us to look into the problems you experienced in detail. I hope to be able to speak with you soon. Julie Reeves, Deputy Service Manager, Emergency Care Division

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