"Long waiting times, no follow up, rude consultan"

About: University Hospital Lewisham

I was referred to endocrinology by my GP over a year ago. First appointment was in August, I found the consultant to be very ignorant, rude and unhelpful. They seemed more concerned with telling me how long they'd been a consultant and bad mouthing other endocrinologists than listening to the symptoms and concerns of the actual patient in front of them. I had private thyroid tests carried out and they showed no interest in the results which indicated hashimotos thyroiditis. They did not attempt to feel my thyroid for any lumps either. Instead I was sent away for blood tests and MRI scan and not full thyroid tests either. I had MRI in Sept and was told I'd get a follow up appt in 2 weeks. I was not contacted by endocrinology at all, in the end I had to file a complaint with PALs before getting a telephone consultation with a registrar in December. The registrar told me all results were fine even though one of them was abnormal and warranted further investigation. They said they couldn't do anything and consultant would have to speak to me about it at my next appt which was scheduled for Feb 2016 (over 6 mths from initial appt). The registrar said they would speak to the consultant to see if they could organise an earlier appt but I never heard back from them and attempts to contact them resulted in nought. So I went to the appointment in February and was told it was possibly early menopause even though one of the blood test results was abnormal and required further investigation plus not all basic thyroid tests had been done. I went to the gynae-endo clinic and was told again it was likely early menopause and not thyroid problem even though not all thyroid tests had returned. They ordered some additional blood tests and referred me to the menopause clinic - I thought this would be a clinic with the gynae-endo consultant to discuss the results of the recent blood test but it was with yet another consultant. The endo blood test results came back indicating the abnormal result had fallen even further below normal but I heard nothing from them. Today I received a letter telling me as all thyroid tests were normal they were discharging me - no follow-up appt to discuss this or the abnormal results just discharged! The thyroid test they'd ordered was the wrong one as well, should have been anti-thyroglobulin and they just ordered thyroglobulin. To say I am angry is an understatement, I am enraged, upset & frustrated by my treatment by both endo and gynae/womens health depts. There is no follow up, telephone consultations with registrars who have no background on what was discussed with the consultant and no ability to do anything. Months of waiting for follow up and consultations without getting back full blood tests. I was not given a full thyroid panel of tests which is just the basic you would expect. Calls to consultants' secretaries often go unanswered if they are ever there as they all seem to work part time with no cover for when they're off

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Response from University Hospital Lewisham

I am very concerned to read your account of care within our service, this is not the quality of care we aim to deliver. I apologise for your poor experience. I will be sharing this feedback with the team and Clinical Lead.

I would however like to be able to investigate your case to find out exactly what happened and to ensure any necessary improvements are made. Please do contact our PALs department if you would like this investigated formally. Their details are as follows: pals.lewisham@nhs.net

Rosie Jackson

Head of Nursing Women's & Sexual Health

Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust

University Hospital Lewisham

Lewisham High Street

London SE13 6LH

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