"I was in so much pain and getting nowhere"

About: Corbett Hospital Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Birmingham) Russells Hall Hospital

(as the patient),

In March 2014 I felt pain in my lower back and pain down through my buttock to my ankle. I saw a nurse at a walk-in centre and she said it was sciatica, gave me some painkillers and advised me to see my GP for him to make a referral to physiotherapy. I opted to see a private osteopath. After 4 weeks he wrote to my GP stating I needed an MRI scan. My GP stated that I could not have one and had to go through a pathway. As I wished to be seen asap, I opted to go with Dudley Hospital Trust. I was seen in July 2014 and was referred for an MRI. I managed to get a cancellation so I was seen in a few weeks. It was confirmed I had a herniated disc. I was given some treatment options and given I had seen an osteopath without success, opted for an epidural. Again I got lucky and was seen at the end of August, but the epidural was not successful. I went on holiday in September, had a terrible time due to pain, and when I came back I went off sick from work. I couldn't stand the bus and train commute any longer. I asked my GP for further pain relief, but I was told there was none. I had to wait until November for a follow up, to be told I was an "enigma". They could not understand why I had pain walking and standing up. I should only have pain sitting down. I was told I should lose weight and that the reason the epidural did not work was because I did not have a herniated disc. I was told I would be sent for physiotherapy whilst they asked the radiographer for another report on the MRI. I felt really angry that I was in so much pain and getting nowhere. No-one seemed to know what to do. I had a full time professional job and my employer naturally wanted me to go back to work. So did I.

I complained to my GP and they wrote to the hospital asking for me to see the consultant. Just prior to seeing the Consultant, I saw a junior doctor who said I had a cyst on my spine and it was likely I would have to go to Birmingham for a biopsy. I again asked for more painkillers, but was told there were no more I could be given. When I saw the consultant a week later, they confirmed I did not have a herniated disc, it was a cyst. They told me I would be transferred from Russells Hall/Corbett Hospital, Dudley, to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham.

10 days later I had a heart attack. When I came out of hospital, my father went back in. I could not visit him for a month, nor could my mother as I could not drive, I believe this was detrimental to his health as he had Alzheimers and in May 2015, he died. He was treated appallingly and I will give a separate post about his treatment. During my father's period in hospital and my recuperation, my boss advised me that unless I could give assurances I would be back to work by the end of March, I would face the sack. Alternatively, and they suggested it as a better option, I could apply for voluntary redundancy. I applied and got it. I am still living off my redundancy money, which is running out. I was furious at losing my job. I had worked very hard to get it and enjoyed my job. Between January 2015 and May 2015, I had had a heart attack, lost my job and my father.

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Responses

Response from The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for posting feedback about your experiences of Russells Hall Hospital and Corbett Outpatient Centre. If you wish to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on free phone 0800 073 0510 we would happily look into all the issues you have raised.

Response from Patient Experience Manager, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for taking the time to feedback about your experience, we are aware that the Dudley Group of Hospitals has responded to your post regarding the concerns that you have raised in relation to the care they provided.. If you have any further feedback to share with us regarding your experience at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham please make contact via the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) who will be pleased to assist you.

PALS can be contacted by phone 0121 371 4400, by email PALS@uhb.nhs.uk, via the hospital website www.uhb.nhs.uk/pals-form or in person by dropping in between 9am – 5pm (Mon-Fri) to the PALS office located near the Information Desk in the main entrance of the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.