"Breast care experience"

About: Royal Bolton Hospital / Breast surgery

(as the patient),

I underwent a right breast mastectomy under the care of a general surgeon at Royal Bolton Hospital, a few years ago. I was left severely disfigured.

I ended up litigating against the hospital because of the damage caused by the breast reconstruction surgery performed on me. I felt bullied by one individual during this process who was not willing to answer any questions in relation to the surgeon even though I arranged to meet him on that pretext.

I do not cast any blame on the breast nurses but I do believe they are forced to behave like robots through pressure from the surgeons who work above them, and are forced to say what they are told to say which felt to me very limited when dealing with a person's care.

The amount of £250,000 was spent in legal aid , which is of course public money on my fight for some kind of justice, driven partly by the fact that I believe that there have been a number of court reports involving this surgeon before, and also of course because of the way the surgeon has left me badly disfigured and in need of an awful lot of major plastic surgery, despite telling me the outcome of the initial surgery would achieve an acceptable result.

I am now on a waiting list to go to a top plastic surgeon of the calibre I now need to undergo possibly years of major plastic surgery all because of this surgeons unacceptable standard of surgery.

In my opinion, the system for victims of medical accidents seeking support and direction as to where to go to have their severe disfigurement improved or corrected is diabolical. I think it badly needs a shake up. There ought in fact to be a no faults policy in place, so that when someone experiences what I have, they are not treated as the underdog, forced to pursue justice in the way I have had to. I feel like in my case the surgeon was cowardly and hid behind the system which is wrong.

I think NHS clientele should be entitled to an automatic explanation by the surgeon involved, and an immediate offer of compensation.

I do not know if anybody else has experienced poor dealings with this breast cancer care department both within the context of the bad attitudes and the standard of surgery, but my guess is that I am not the only patient who feels badly let down by this body of people at Royal Bolton Hospital.

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Response from NHS Bolton

We are aware of these concerns and have investigated them thoroughly through the PALS, complaints and litigation processes. Those investigations did not reveal any matters which required action by the Trust. We are very sorry that our efforts and responses have not been to the satisfaction of this patient, however we would like to assure everyone that we always take any issues raised by our patients very seriously and always strive to resolve them to the individual's satisfaction as far as possible.

(Posted by NHS Bolton on behalf of Royal Bolton Hospital NHS Foundation Trust)

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