"Breast Clinic - Forth Valley Royal"

About: Forth Valley Royal Hospital / General surgery

(as the patient),

Wrongly diagnosed. Consultant was not interested.

After several months of pain, and different changes with lump, I was referred to the breast clinic at Forth Valley Royal.

The consultant who saw me appeared not interested and as if he was not listening to what I said only the latter part of the conversation where I said I was experiencing pain under my arm and in to certain area of my back. To which he said it was probably muscular. I was generally surprised that no questions were asked.

After a quick examination (minutes) he sent me for an ultrasound. (My GP had spent more time examining me and explained that the Breast Clinic was not only for lumps and cancer but breast care). The not interested attitude oozed as if I was wasting time. On return from my ultrasound I was told it was my pectoral muscle, and after asking about the symptoms/changes I was told it was a red herring. I was advised to get physiotherapy and continue with painkillers. I left the clinic feeling relieved that nothing serious was there but I was not confident.

I took advice and attended private physiotherapy in desperation to get rid of my pain. After a thorough conversation and examination it was not my pectoral muscle, the physiotherapist advised I get a second opinion. And wrote a letter to my GP to advise of her thoughts and findings and the fact that it was not my pectoral muscle giving me the trouble.

Unfortunately I was unable to see the GP who had previously seen me and the doctor reduced me to tears, with the what do you want me to do attitude. I soon realised I was getting nowhere, and more upset, I asked for a private referral to have a consultation with another doctor, the GP agreed to this, but after the hospital calling me, I soon became aware the request I had given the name of the consultant I wanted to see (one that specialised in my symptoms) had not been passed over from the GP.

Thankfully at a cost to me, I was seen and given a proper diagnoses with treatment to follow. I was listened to and felt feeling confident and trust in the consultant.

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Response from NHS Forth Valley

Dear Wrongly Diagnosed Patient

Thank you for taking the time to share with us what must have been a distressing experience. I can only imagine how difficult this experience must have been for you and would like to apologise for the experience that you have had.

Here at NHS Forth Valley, we expect our staff to treat all patients that access health services whether this is through a visit to a GP or coming into hospital, to be treated with dignity and respect, to be listened to and have confidence in the healthcare professional that they are seeing, unfortunately this has not be the case for you.

I would like to assure you that the manner in which your consultation was carried out is not normal practice and this will be shared with the team to look at how they can use your experience to improve services.

We would appreciate the opportunity to investigate this situation further so we can provide feedback to the doctor and GP involved. Would you be willing to meet with me to discuss any specific details if you felt that would be of help. My name is Rita Ciccu-Moore and you can contact me through Pauline Marland, Person Centred & Patient Experience Coordinator on 01324 566523 or email p.marland@nhs.net

In the meantime I will ensure that your feedback is shared with the Breast Clinic Team and also share it with GP’s.

I hope that your recovery is progressing well, and again please accept my sincere apologies for the distress caused.

Yours sincerely

Rita Ciccu Moore

Deputy Director of Nursing

NHS Forth Valley

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