"No quality of life"

About: General Practices in Grampian Jubilee Hospital Woodend General Hospital / Elective Orthopaedics

(as the patient),

Back in the first week of July 2015, I hurt my back, being outdoorsy and sporty I knew to rest for a few days then to gently move to ensure optimum improvement. Being a type 2 diabetic I'm aware that lack of sleep/pain/pain medication etc can have an adverse effect on my blood sugars. After approx 4 weeks of quite debilitating pain it seemed that things were getting better, then I woke up one morning with sharp pains and no movement in my ankle or foot.

I went straight to my local GP who referred me to physio and gave me appropriate pain relief. I saw a wonderful physio in Inverurie who saw me weekly, then fortnightly then monthly, with some improvement in mobility but nothing else. I must have been her worst patient ever as I had no patience with this problem, I should be getting better quicker I claimed, I can't ride my horse, walk my dog, I'm an invalid I exclaimed to her repeatedly. By November 2015 with still no real improvement I was sent to the HUB in Huntly, met a nice woman there who said I needed to get an MRI, and she would arrange an appointment, should take about 4 wks but with Christmas looming perhaps a little longer.

I received a call from the mobile scanning department with a cancellation appointment for Sunday 13th December, I attended this appointment an was told that the HUB would be in contact within a week or so to discuss my results. By mid January 2016 I went to see my GP to ask why I had heard nothing back from my MRI, my GP checked and the results were on file and that he would write to the HUB to find out what was the next move as in his opinion he joked it looked like a Black & Decker job, my nerve was trapped by part of my spine.

I waited to hear from the HUB, but alas I was not involved with any discussion about my treatment, until I received an appointment on early Feb inviting me to attend Woodend Hospital for 'Nerve Root Infiltration' towards the end of Feb. I was terrified by this letter and the accompanying leaflet, describing injections of steroids and local anaesthetic for 'pain relief' side effects include 'altered mood, difficulty sleeping and altered blood sugars' I was so scared by the lack of information and the fact that now 7 months after my initial injury all I'm being offered is pain relief. I went to my local GP today to voice my concerns and was advised to discuss my case on this forum and to go to the appointment at Woodend but to ensure I was fully satisfied with what was said before accepting injections. I am scared and disappointed at being excluded from discussions relating to my case, but more to the point why am I not being offered an end to my disability, for 7 months I have had no quality of life, this is just horrifying, in the 21st Century why am I being treated like I don't matter?

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Response from Linda Oldroyd, Nurse Consultant Patient Safety and Experience, NHS Grampian

Dear patient

You have clearly had a very difficult eighteen months and I am very sorry that the manner in which we have communicated with you has caused you more distress. NHS Grampian aims to deliver person centred care. This means that we should always take account of indivdual needs and preferences and invlove people fully in decisons about their care. The medical team has made a decision about your care without involving you and whilst this might be the right decision in their opinion it might not be what you would want. This situation could have been avoided by a simple telephone call to you to explain the results of your tests and the treatment options.

I believe there is a lot of learning from your post and I will be discussing your feedback with the management team for this service to see if we can do things differently in the future.

In the meantime, your GP has advised you well. I hope you are able to attend your appointment and get the information you need to help you to make an informed decision about your care.

Please get in touch if I can help in any way. I can be contacted by telephone on 01343 567900 or by email at loldroyd@nhs.net

Thank you for taking the time to post your feedback and I hope you regain your health and mobility soon.

Kind regards

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