"Uncaring & treated without interest or respect"

About: Royal Hallamshire Hospital

Having had a number of disturbing symptoms for a few years now, I was eventually referred to Neurology in October for a consult to get to the bottom of the issue. The neurologist I saw was ok, albeit somewhat inattentive of my concerns, i.e. not really taking an interest in my presenting symptoms and I, at that time, assumed he would review my clinical presentations once he had the Radiologist report back from the MRI. I have to say the consultation lacked anything near a decent level of privacy I would expect from a adequate healthcare provider - seen in a room off of a ward which had open doors and easily overheard by patients waiting outside. I have to say I was astonished that a Consultant of this person's calibre found it acceptable not to consider closing the door for a patient consult. Something very basic that falls well short of the CQC's expectation that patients would be treated with respect, let alone involved in discussions about my care and treatment. The MRI appointment was relatively quick, 3 weeks after consult but thats where expediency finished. By February, I left numerous messages with the consultants secretary asking if I could have a follow up appointment but none was forthcoming. 6 months later, and many subsequent frustrated appointments with my GP, I was told by my GP that I had "fallen through the system" and that the Consultant / department was querying whether I still needed to be seen. Having suffered a deterioration of my symptoms, my GP assured me I would be seen again quickly. However, a few months later, I was subsequently told that, as significant time had passed, my GP would again have to write a referral letter. Now, I am aware that it is troublesome for a hospital to breach it's national waiting time deadlines but surely it is unethical to dismiss the clinical needs of a patient just so to avoid being fined for breaching the national deadlines set? It is now 8 months since my initial referral, several letters later from my GP begging for me to be seen again and, clinically, I'm in a worse state now than I was when first presenting and I have yet to receive any type of clinical service, intervention or treatment from the Neurology dept. at Sheffield Hallamshire Hospital. But, hey, as long as those figures look ok right? Hopefully, my complaint to the CQC about my treatment at SRH might bring about special measures which may ensure some form of clinical safety?

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Response from Patient Partnership, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Sir or Madam

Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback regarding your experience of our services. I am sorry that we have not acknowledged your concerns earlier, we currently are working through the Patient Opinion website and are dealing with negative concerns.

I was very sorry to learn that you have had cause to raise concerns regarding your care and have complained to the CQC. If they have not already contacted the Trust we would like to be given the opportunity to respond to you in more detail about this. If you would like us to investigate your concerns further, please contact our Patient Services Team on either 0114 2712400 or pst@sth.nhs.uk and they will take additional details from you.

Thank you once again.

Deborah Hopkinson, Patient Experience Co-ordinator