"I felt like a fraud at the Western General"

About: Western General Hospital / Neurology

(as the patient),

In October 2006 I saw the consultant in regards to some problems I had been experiencing intermittently. On my first visit I was taken on time and as it is a teaching hospital had a trainee in attendance observing my consultation.

During the consultation I felt that I was making everything up as I had no symptoms during my visit. Nevertheless I was sent for a MRI scan. The appointment came and went with no issues as it went smoothly.

I was sent an appointment for 12 weeks after the MRI for another consultation which as I was on holiday then the consultant being on holiday pushed it back to the July 2007 before I could be seen for the results. I found reception staff to be very unhelpful as I was booked into the wrong clinic and it was not discovered until the consultant phoned to inform me, I thought this was brilliant for the consultant to personally phoning instead of the receptionist.

During this second consultation the neurologist had a completely different attitude towards me, actually showing concern and paying attention to what I was saying. This was a marked change compared to the patronising way I was treated the first time around.

I asked the consultant why I felt like I was a fraud the first time around seeing her, to have the reply "Your symptoms can be caused by almost anything, we are sceptical until we see the test results."

I feel that the Western General's Neurological sciences department does need to be improved. You are treated with respect, but only after a diagnosis.

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