"Listen to me, Respect me, Assess me properly"

About: Addenbrooke's Hospital / General surgery Bedfordshire PCT

(as the patient),

I have had serious pain and had difficulty walking for over four years.

My first attempt to get help from the GP resulted in them telling me, "You are getting old it comes with age." The doctor considered that it was depression and prescribed antidepressants. He did not ask my history and I feel did not seem interested in my problems. I did not think I was depressed but did take the medicine. It didn’t improve anything and my pain was still there.

I deteriorated and the pain was worsening. I felt like the doctor looked more earnestly at the screen and rarely at me. He seemed always in a hurry and I felt had no time to listen. I continued for a long time trying to be stoical about the pain. I heard about a sympathetic doctor at our surgery. I made an appointment to see him.

Eventually this doctor listened and sent me for a scan. I had damage to my spine. I had surgery which was successful. The people at the hospital were wonderful. Following this there was a period of two weeks when I had a holiday in Wales and was able to walk three or four days along the gentler parts of the coastal path.

Later I had Physiotherapy and the pain from the exercises was unbearable. I felt like no one listened to me and I was brushed off. My physiotherapist discharged me.

I saw another GP who re-referred me back to the neuron-surgeon.

It was decided to do further surgery on my back. I waited and had a date for surgery. I had two pre op appointments I attended both and then five different admission dates all being cancelled.

To get ready for surgery packing toiletries and pyjamas and getting ready in your mind to only be told it was off, repeatedly was shattering for me.

Eventually we saw the surgeon who was unhappy with the plan for surgery and sent me for another x-ray. This resulted in the very clear evidence that I had severe osteoarthritis the head of the hip bone which had no definition.

Why was there not a proper assessment initially? I feel that if my doctor had time and patience to listen to me instead of rushing and not speaking to me but talking to the screen, then there may have been a different outcome. I am now waiting to see another surgeon to deal with my hip. I understand that my GP surgery met all its targets and is considered first class, but not to me as I think targets have come before people.

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