"spending years on waiting lists."
About: Frenchay Hospital Frenchay Hospital Bristol BS16 1JE
Posted by Despondent
I have been having "treatment" for severe sciatica since 2008. This mainly involves spending months on waiting lists for interventions that don't work and then being referred onto another waiting list. In 2011 I wrote to the Trust to ask how they coordinate the care of people with complex and/chronic problems. It took a year of constant asking to get a reply from the Chief Executive to say that they don't know how! ! ! At this time I was offered an spinal nerve stimulator and referred to an orthopaedic surgeon for his opinion. He enthusiastically suggested a spinal fusion instead and assured me that I would not need to go a long waiting list for spinal nerve stimulator should it not succeed. What he actually did was pass me onto one of his less experienced colleagues a week before the operation as he was "too busy" himself. The fusion actually made me much worse and the promise about not needing to go on a long waiting list was denied. I eventually had a trail for a stimulator in late last year and was told that I would be 2 to 3 months on a waiting list. This was also not true and I am told it will now be in June - six months after the trial. It is hard to believe that it is acceptable to leave someone in severe pain and with little mobility for so long - especially as some of it is due to an unsuccessful procedure. I spoke to some at the advice and complaints department and asked if they thought it was acceptable. They declined to comment and said that they understood how I felt but there is nothing to be done. I am afraid I put the phone down. It feels horrible to have my fate in the hands of a system that I don't trust. The actual clinicians are helpful but seem demoralised.