"Very Let Down"

About: Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford)

I have a lot of complex medical conditions, that are very rare in this country, that i have had for the past 12 years. I recently moved from being under the consultant I've had from the beginning of my illness in Truro, to being under a rheumatologist in RDE and i feel very let down since moving. The consultant in question has been very condescending in their implication i cannot possibly know what i'm talking about, even though i am their first ever patient to have this condition and having lived with it for years, i very well know what I'm talking about with it. During a flare up of my condition i recieved no support from them, just sent a letter (not the phonecall i requested) telling me to 'hang tight' because they were 'keen to see a flare up'. Knowing a flare up can put me out of action for several months, and having a mortgage to pay funnily enough i did not want to allow a flare up to continue coming for their convenience, nor because they want to see one. I felt this was an absolutely ludicrous thing to say to a patient. Given that my medical history shows that a very convenient method of preventing a flare up for me was a short course of steroid (which they outright refused to provide despite me pleading to look through my notes and they would see the evidence that 90% of the time it works for me) i was increasingly distressed at their refusal to do anything to help me unless i took time off work to go and see them, which i could not do.

All in all i felt totally let down, and luckily my GP was far more understanding, prescribed the short course for me and i felt better within days. I am now looking to change consultants as i do not wish to have to deal with this doctor again.

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Responses

Response from Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford)

Thank you for taking the time to share your comments regarding the Rheumatology Service at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.

We are very sorry to hear of your experiences and are keen to discuss this with you further in order to improve your ongoing care.

I would be grateful if you could contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service on (01392) 402093 to enable us to look into the concerns you have raised.

Response from Peter Brain, Volunteer, Healthwatch Devon

Dear 'Anonymous'

The comments and responses on the web-site of Patient Opinion are shared with us at Healthwatch.

Thank you for responding to what you describe as a let-down at the hospital. We hope you will now make progress. At Healthwatch we are building a picture of the provision of services in Devon and these comments should help the NHS and other providers develop and improve their services.

If you wish to discuss this or any health or social care issue with us in confidence, including seeking advice or information about services, please call 0800 520 0640, or email info@healthwatchdevon.co.uk or go on-line to www.healthwatchdevon.co.uk.

Yours sincerely

Peter Brain
Volunteer

Healthwatch Devon is the consumer champion for Health and Social Care in Devon.

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