"Terrible waiting times, bad practice by consultant"
Posted by Ann
I'm writing this on behalf of my elderly father, who had an ear operation to try to improve his hearing. The decision to go ahead with the operation was made a year and a half before. For some reason, the ear consultant instructed my father to contact his heart consultant, to confirm that it was ok to stop taking aspirin (for his heart condition). I was completely perplexed as to why my 77 year old father was being asked to communicate between medical professionals. I wrote to the heart hospital but after 5 months received no reply. I then contacted my fathers GP to see if they could help. They were shocked, and finally sorted the communication out. It took about 7 months. I thought this was probably an oversight, and decided to let it go. The operation was finally scheduled in September. We then received another letter rescheduling for June. The sooner the better of course, but I did not like the way it could be so easily rescheduled (imagine had it been set later!) The operation took place on the hottest day of the year. I had concerns for the heat, but it seemed to go well. For the first time I went along to the hospital with my father to remove the surgical dressings. We waited 2 hours to be seen. This was in the height of summer and the hospital seemed to be running with only trainee doctors. The young doctor was excellent, although did not actually know how to fill in the form and I had to go back to reception to sort it. The reception staff made several comments to each other about the inexperienced doctors. I wonder why the procedure was not made clear. Communication is not good and there seems to be a definite divide between staff and doctors. The next appointment was in the autumn, and I decided to go along again because my fathers hearing did not seem to be improving. The appointment was at 11am, but I expected it to be another 2 hours wait. I was wrong. It was 3pm when we finally saw a consultant! I saw my fathers consultant going in and out of their office several times, looking through the case files outside the offices. They were well aware we were waiting. Sorry to say, but I really do think they were trying to avoid seeing my father. The other consultant we saw looked through the results of the operation, but could not understand why my fathers hearing had not improved. They said we really needed to see our own consultant. They went over to their office and our consultant seemed to make a huff of being overloaded with work. When we finally saw our consultant, they went on repeating over & over again their explanation. There was also someone sitting in taking notes, who was was not explained. The consultant seemed to be trying to convince everyone in the room the operation was successful. I accepted their explanation, but they should not have built up my fathers expectations and should have been truthful and realistic. I find their practice unprofessional and very disappointing.