"Hands-down the worst experience of the NHS in..."
About: University Hospital Lewisham University Hospital Lewisham London SE13 6LH
Orthopaedic department Lewisham Hospital:
My experience of the physiotherapy team at Lewisham Hospital was overwhelmingly positive. The staff in the team were all lovely but the same can not be said about the Orthopaedic department. The follow-up is either patchy or non-existent. At no point have I felt that the consultant has had my interests at heart.
It is rare for me to use NHS services. I did not visit my G.P. for five years. On the one occasion I wanted to access healthcare within the NHS, I would have expected to receive a higher level of patient care. When my first appointment at the Orthopaedic department was delayed well over an hour, the consultant should have apologised for the delay. This did not happen and I was taken aback by his arrogance. Things were made worse by the fact that a party of trainee doctors were in the room to witness my obvious distress.
They watched as the consultant attempted the sensitive procedure of draining the ganglion. I felt I should have been offered excision and that their decision to opt for aspiration was made solely on the basis that they did not want me clogging up their waiting list. My G.P. had already made a botched attempt to drain the ganglion. Unsurprisingly, the fluid returned within two weeks. After my second appointment on 29th March, there was no follow-up. No indication during the consultation that I would not hear from the hospital for another four months.
No managing of patient expectations. No phone call when I left a message with the department secretary. No follow-up letter as a result of a second phone call to the department. It would be hard to imagine anything more depressing. My ganglion is on a joint and causes me pain.
I felt like I was being treated like a guinea pig every time I visited the Orthopaedic department as there was a party of trainee doctors observing my appointments. If the non-existent level of care I have received from the Orthopaedic department at Lewisham Hospital is representative of the NHS, I am truly scared for what is going to happen to me when I become ill and I am dependent upon the NHS for life-sustaining treatment.