"Glad I've finally left"

About: The Royal Victoria Infirmary

I came to the RVI a few years ago thinking because of the money and equipment they have that I'd get a better service. This wasn't the case. All the bells and whistles were there but nobody to blow them - the staff, including consultants, nurses and admin were shockingly poor. Admin can't even send out letters in a timely manner - bring on automation. To start I had a nurse who didn't no what they were doing and bumbled around the tens machine. I then had a horrid Matron - who had the demeanor of a Disney villain. Neither nurses or the matron give me faith they could help me manage my pain. Then the all singing all dancing Pain Management Programme - a talk with a Pain psychologist who's idea was to tell me how other people had done it and to copy them - never once listening to my own circumstances. In simple terms - don't think about your pain and it's not there, easier said than done but there you go I've saved the NHS millions so you can scrap the programme. A load of presentations, with only one time slot - so it's attend or bust with no other option. I can't believe this exists, wasting good money on paying people to present or print of slide packs for patients. Give me a break!! - could have saved me a journey and posted them out. As I've posted before, the consultant I had was again doing this as a part of their main role. The consultant wasn't fussed - advised on drugs but couldn't prescribe which caused issues with my own GP who said if they want me on opioid they should write the prescriptions. Pain management in terms of the service is a joke, they don't help you manage your pain they're just fleshing out roles for themselves. A horribly ran hospital that manifests itself through services like this.

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Response from The Royal Victoria Infirmary

Firstly, can we offer our sincerest apologies if any aspect of the service you have received from the Pain Management team has fallen short of your expectations. The team of Nurses, Consultants and administration support staff work extremely hard and are dedicated to offering the highest level of service to patients at all times and will be disappointed to hear of your experience. As this feedback is anonymous it is difficult to offer specific feedback regarding the individuals engaged in your care. If you would like to contact me directly I would be happy to discuss these issues in more detail and undertake a more detailed investigation of your concerns. I will, however, attempt to offer responses to the issues you have raised where possible: • The Pain Management Programme is designed to offer patients a variety of options in dealing with the pain which they are experiencing. The team, including physiotherapists and psychologists, use real life examples to try and illustrate that these methods have been successful for other patients. I am sorry if you have misinterpreted this as simply telling you what may have worked for someone else as this was not intended. • Patients attending sessions often have questions and this essential engagement would not be possible if information was simply posted out. Although there may be savings linked to this practice we feel it would not be in the best interests of the patients and would be at the detriment of the level of service which we provide. • It is standard practice within Pain Management services nationally that the Consultant would not prescribe opioids or any other medication for patients, but rather make recommendations to the patient’s GP for future medications. This is due to the GP being your primary care provider and in a more appropriate position to provide this service moving forward. I hope that the above information addresses your concerns. If you have any further issues that you wish to discuss or if you would like us to investigate your individual case in more detail, please do not hesitate to contact Mr Andrew Watson, Directorate Manager on 0191 282 5379.

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