"GP did not take time to understand notes"

About: Merseyside

(as a staff member posting for a patient/service user),

After waiting for and receiving a scan of my kidneys (a 6 week wait), I was contacted in work, the day after the scan, by an unfamiliar doctor in my GP surgery who was difficult to understand. He told me that a lump had been found on my kidney and that he was really only phoning me because he needed to know if I had first alerted A&E with symptoms, or my GP. As you can probably understand the latter detail was of no interest to me - only the fact that I was being informed over the phone of a potentially big problem. I wasn't being asked to come into the surgery - just to give him the information he needed!

When I arrived at the surgery within the hour and demanded to see someone, I met this doctor and was able to read on his computer that I had a 'suspected carcinoma'. (This was a doctor I was unfamiliar with, and there are a vast number of new doctors in this surgery! )

After digesting the news, some days after, I telephoned the GP (this was after a second scan) and asked to speak to someone who actually knows me, in the surgery I have been attending for about 30 years. This was arranged in advance for me and an appointment was made for me to speak with a senior doctor I know.

When I met with this doctor he explained the tumour I had, drawing a picture for me of it 'sitting on top of my kidney'. Even though he had access to the scans and a forewarning that I would be attending, he obviously did not pay much attention to my notes because the tumour was actually encapsulated in the centre of the kidney. This actually makes a difference because a tumour on the outside can be removed without taking the whole kidney.

Summary of problems:

1) The bad news was revealed to me in a very insensitive way

2) My GP did not take the time to understand my notes fully before explaining it to me - even though he had access to the scan, and the scan report, and even though I would have thought cases like mine should be treated carefully. I don't visit the GP often.

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››