"Awful outpatient appointment"

About: Southampton General Hospital

Seen by a Consultant Surgeon - not the one I was originally referred to.

Neither was I asked or informed of this alteration which after all the publicity about patient choice I found interesting.

Nonetheless I wasn't about to object at the appointment and was grateful to be seen by someone.

I wish that day was erasable.

I did not think that doctors, of any grade, were allowed to ignore patient wishes, disregard women as being important in the decision making process, try and influence the patient's decision with their own personal view, or be offensive to the patient.

All of these things happened in my appointment.

I came out feeling disgusted, upset, angry but most of all, completely and utterly shattered and shocked.

The consultant I saw refused to acknowledge a female member of my family as next of kin, only documenting a man.

Even when I reiterated that there were two, including a woman, they refused to acknowledge this.

I did not think this was permissible in this day and age, and surely must go against some code?

Secondly, the consultant repeatedly accused me of lying.

I had not even answered the question at this stage, because I was trying (and struggling) to find the right balance - given it was a subjective question where the answer could lie anywhere on a sliding scale, and that scale is different for every individual, I was doing my best to try and answer in a balanced way.

Not to mention that it is not always easy for me to get words out anyway.

Apparently this constitutes lying, and to be repeatedly accused of something I had not done is not only wrong, but highly offensive and upsetting.

Next, the consultant went on to contradict the opinion of 3 radiology experts, with their reasoning of why, being 'I am right'.

That to me is not an answer, rather a statement of someone's own self-importance.

And it is certainly unhelpful to the patient, irrespective of who is right and who is wrong.

Then, after all of this, and laying out the options and risk of things suddenly getting worse (apparently equal, so 50%) versus staying the same (still not a great quality of life), the consultant leant forward and spoke much more quietly while I think the nurse was out of the room, and informed me 'if I were you I wouldn't do anything'.

I did not think that it was right for doctors to express their own personal opinion?

I left and the next day was offered an appointment with the consultant I should have seen originally.

This was offered to me, I did not request it.

I did however accept it, wanting to give another the benefit of the doubt.

Suddenly after building up the courage to attend for the past week, it was cancelled at gone 6pm the night before with several reasons given (from 'they have extensive notes so doesn't need to see you before an op; to the clinics busy or they wanted to speak to someone else).

Nevermind I have already been treated like a piece of garbage on the side of the road; it seems to have happened again.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Southampton General Hospital

It was very disappointing to read the chronology of events you describe about the experience you had when you attended a recent outpatient appointment.

We were very sorry that this occurred and that it was such a difficult experience for you.

We would not want any patient to be left feeling the way you did.

We would welcome the opportunity to discuss the concerns you have raised with you and if you would like to do this please do contact the patient support services on 023 8120 6325 to discuss this further.

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