"Lack of support for MRI"

About: St George's Hospital (Tooting) (London)

(as the patient),

I was due an MRI scan and I called up 2 weeks in advance to inform the hospital of the adverse reaction I experience after MRIs. I made it clear there would need to be a plan to deal with this if it happened again. The person I spoke to said she would call me back if I needed to be moved to a different MRI unit with more staff on hand.

I never heard back, so duly took a day off work - I am self employed and lose anything from £500 - 1000 in business when I do so.

I turned up to the MRI van - essentially a container housing a scanner. A very rudimentary set up that does not inspire confidence. Staff had no idea of my situation, were totally unprepared and I had to explain everything again. It was abundantly clear the rudimentary set up would not accommodate the kind of adverse reaction I experience.

There were only 2 staff members, neither of whom had more than a basic command of English and who were obviously out of their depth when presented with my case.

I pointed out that I had informed them weeks ago of my situation to which I was told they were outside staff contracted to do MRIs and not part of the team I had forewarned - why is that my problem?

I was told I would have to reschedule as I needed to have the MRI in a different unit with a doctor on hand. One of the staff (at least half my age) had the cheek to tell me I should have brought someone with me! How offensive. I had to explain to her that not everyone has family in this country and not everyone has friends who can take a day off work (to have it wasted by the NHS).

I was then sent from pillar to post by these staff and told I needed to go and make another appointment. I went to a desk where I was told they could not do it and I had to go to another desk- which told me they could not do it and........ At that point I left as I needed to try and save what was left of the day to recoup my financial losses.

What is very distressing is that mine is an urgent case, even by NHS standards, and the requesting dept went to lengths to get me an urgent MRI in time for my follow up in a week's time. Now my time is wasted, as well as the consultant's because we won't have the scan results at the appointment and who knows how many months everything will now get put back.

This could easily have been avoided since I informed the hospital in good time but they simply failed to make the necessary arrangements.

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Response from St George's Hospital (Tooting)

We are very sorry to read of your experience and dissatisfaction with the service you received and would encourage you to contact the PALS department at St. George’s Hospital if you have not already done so.

You can talk to the Patient Advice and Liaison Service about your experience and further investigation can take place, pals@stgeorges.nhs.uk or on 020 8725 2453. If you are answered by an answer machine please leave a message with a clear telephone number and you will be contacted.

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