"be very careful about choosing queen's as your..."

About: Queen's Hospital (Romford)

Two months ago, I had to get urgent surgery from the maxillofacial department and the doctor and operating staff were extremely helpful and I felt that at the time, the main doctor who operated on me did everything they could to ensure my health was in tact and I am forever greatful to her for what they did. After being discharged however, I made the mistake of not taking down their name and it was virtually impossible to make contact with anybody in the maxillofacial department when I needed to get the stitches taken out of my mouth. Their lines go straight to voicemail so you cannot access your consultant's secretaries. Eventually, after days of hounding various people, I managed to get through to somebody, and I had to wait one week until I was given a date for consultation which would be two weeks later (and I later saw that a huge amount of bacteria had subsequently grown on the stitch). The consultant saw me for two minutes before sending me away for xrays and blood tests and frankly did not care about my condition. They had a nurse take out my stitches and send me home without seeing to me properly. I spent around four hours just waiting for the consultant after my appointment time and another two in xrays, blood tests and getting out my stitches. The results of these xrays and blood tests are still unknown to me. So the next day, I began the painful experience of trying to organise another appointment and at one point, I had the secretary behaving very unprofessionally and shouting on the phone at me to stop bothering them and that it was not their job to book appointments; and the appointment desk could not get me an appointment for 6 weeks. So in my struggle, I managed to find the number for the on call doctors, and to my amazement I found the main doctor who operated on me. Despite it not being their job to book me an appointment - unlike the secretary, they tried very hard and got me an appointment in 10 days time. Unfortunately, before then, my condition escalated. I very diligently avoided returning to Queens A&E and went elsewhere, where I was told that I had a very serious bone infection and my jaw was essentially wasting away. If the lines were working and secretaries tried to help me to the same level as the doctors do (who are probably far more busy saving lives!), the infection may not have spread to the bone and I may now have been in a better situation with my health.. I would hope that this is just the ethic of one department and not all of them because it is a shame that many other people may not be able to persist as much as I did in pursuing a solution for their health and may find more fatal outcomes.

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Responses

Response from Queen's Hospital

Thank you for your comment on NHS Choices. We are concerned about your experience visiting and trying to get in touch with Queen’s Hospital. We would like to apologise for how difficult you found it to set up an appointment and that your condition appears to have escalated in the meantime. We would also like to apologise for the way you were spoken to on the phone, this is simply not acceptable. We expect all our staff to treat our patients with respect and compassion. We are also concerned about your experience on your revisit to Queen’s. We would like to investigate this as a matter of urgency. Please contact us via our PALS team on 01708 435 454 or email PALS@bhrhospitals.nhs.uk and we will investigate. Yours sincerely, Sarah Tedford, Chief Operating Officer and Nadeem Moghal, Medical Director

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