"Ward 19 RVI- the best"

About: The Royal Victoria Infirmary / Infectious and Tropical Medicine

(as the patient),

Hand on heart- the best HIV experience in Newcastle- I've been through a couple in the city! Firstly- Newcrofts drop in centre who 'lost' my records- I thought they meant in their clinic but they couldn't say for sure! ) I was told to speak to the records officer at the freeman and they told me they don't keep any records for that unit & couldn't tell me what might have happened - how can that be allowed?

Now, I say ward 19 is the best - it's probably dead efficient on paper but its just a horrible experience- a few lovely staff but one super arrogant /rude doctor told me their way was the best way. I got the 'judgement' style lecture and too many assumptions about what I did to get into this state and I felt like I was being trampled down and beaten into doing what I was told- (is there such a thing as bullying with the best intent? ? ) I said something - (probably too polite given the circumstances ) and asked if I get any say in this and was told that I could find another hospital or if I preferred that they could refer me to Sunderland (somewhere else was mentioned) or I could follow their 'clinic path'. I was livid with their attitude- I can't afford to take time off work to go to sunderland so I had to just sit there and keep my mouth shut while they glared at the computer hammering in buttons and clenching his jaw like my brother on his X Box.

I miss some appointments because I really hate going- it feels like a combo of being called to the headmaster and a job disciplinary in one! so Ive kind of learned to just keep my mouth shut, say every things fine and then leave. They just want to tick off as many boxes on a sheet as possible without human involvement and they hate having to answer things- I should just do it without silly questions. I forgot the one that shocked me most "you should have a hepatitis injection because people in your sort of situation are at greatest risk".. "very active gay men are most likely to get it" - I've never been asked about sex life once (thankfully) and I haven't had sex at all since I found out about this. I kept my mouth shut and I hate myself for that but theres no point complaining- I tried to raise a simple question once and they haven't changed their approach- I am sick of the "you need to do this/ that/ t'other" and its the most depressing part. I know nothing gets done when you complain, it's "noted" - like your electricity reading is noted when you submit it online. its soul destroying

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Response from The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dear MarkUS,

We are very sorry that you had an unsatisfactory experience with our service. As a major HIV service provider we strive to provide patient-centred and patient-orientated high quality care and we are sorry if this wasn’t your recent experience.

In order to learn from this we would greatly appreciate it if you could contact the trust directly so that we can discuss any concerns you have and try to improve the service offered. We do want to assure you that we take your concerns seriously.

Please contact Mr E Dick, Assistant Directorate Manager on 0191 223 1682 or the Patient Relations Department on 0191 223 1382.

Update posted by MarkUS (the patient)

I already did complain and I followed the process in the leaflet. I was unhappy that the very same person I complained about- (my clinician) pulled me about my complaint on my next appointment.

He was not happy and I felt that he was much less communicative and 'friendly'. Because of that I did not have a chance to discuss recent illness. I have no desire to see this escalate over again.

I am surprised to get a response after all- thank you for that, but it's way down the line and this is the first sign of life- I already don't like going there so I'm not making it worse.

As long as complaints are left to the people you complain about though there will always be a problem- I'm just amazed nobody contacted me directly then.

Response from The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dear MarkUS,

We are sorry to note that you remain dissatisfied with the level of service provided by The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation following your complaint. Rather than enter into a discussion on a public website, perhaps you would prefer to contact Mr E Dick, Assistant Directorate Manager on 0191 223 1682 who will be able to look into your concerns in further detail.

Update posted by MarkUS (the patient)

I already stated I don't want to be penalized again for complaining or raising problems.