"No choice of consultant at Nottingham"

About: Queen's Medical Centre

(as the patient),

The NHS of today treats patients as consumers. Choice is misleading - we only have choice of hospital and clinic times. The reforms have taken away the useful choice of a named consultant our GP knows well and his/her expertise and results.

I went to a clinic having found that a certain day and session was the slot of the consultant I wished to see and whose name had been recommended to me.

But I was told that although I was attending the clinic of consultant X all the surgical waiting lists were pooled and I could have any consultant on the day for the operation. The consultant himself said he did not know the patients he operated on usually and just attended and went through the list which had been arranged.

Because of my debilitating symptoms I was put on a 'soon' list by the consultant. The idea being that surgery would then take place within I guessed max 3 months. In the event I waited 5 months and was very ill during the last months wait.

The GP treated me and questioned whether or not an emergency admission should be made but we had an inpatient appointment at last for the surgeon we wanted and an emergency would mean anyone would do the surgery. In my opinion, this undoubtedly led to the complications which the surgeon saw during surgery, which made things not as straightforward as they should have been had the surgery taken place earlier.

At QMC (Queen's Medical Centre) the elective inpatients for surgery are held in a confined uncomfortable waiting room until just before they go to theatre. No bed is available due to bed pressures and we 'hot bed' - only having a bed arranged whilst we are in theatre. The nurses I saw were pressed, but took little care or looked out for patients in severe pain pre-op and i had to ask for pain killers to their surprise!

No information is really given about how long things are to be and we just waited for hours and hours getting very thirsty and of course blood sugar low from a long fast. I think that this leads to operative complications and in recovery if patients fast too long.

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