"8 months wait to be diagnosed with slipped discs in my back"

About: Monklands District General Hospital / Trauma & orthopaedics NHS Lanarkshire

(as the patient),

In 2014 I had an accident at work. I jarred my back. In the following days the pain continued and I informed my trainer at work. It got to Friday and I wanted to go to the doctor but I had to pick up my little girl after work so I waited over the weekend and went Monday.

I told the doctor at my surgery what happened with the accident and that I was still having problems with my back. She didn’t get up and examine me in anyway, she just told me it was sciatica and prescribed me co-codamol. I finished the prescription and was still suffering so I was given a repeat prescription for the pain killers.

I went back to my GP surgery and saw a different doctor. Again I explained about the accident and the pain and again they didn’t examine me in anyway, they just said it was sciatica and gave me more pain killers.

I was on pain killers between 2014 and 2015 and I was still going to work despite the pain as I needed the money to pay the rent our house.

I finally saw a different doctor at my surgery and finally this doctor touched my back and examined me. I told them about the accident and he referred me to physiotherapy.

It was quite hard to get to physiotherapy because of my shift pattern and I missed one of my appointments and I was struck off their list. I went back to the doctor and they got my appointments reinstated. This time when I went to my appointment it was a different physio and she touched my back in various places and asked me if I could feel anything, which I couldn’t. She then said she wasn’t qualified to touch me and that I needed to go to the hospital.

I went to Monklands and couldn’t be seen but I went back two weeks later for an MRI. Two weeks after that the results came back and I had a slipped disc and a bulging disc in my back.

I am still in pain and having physio and taking pain killers. I have had to have time off work and this episode has caused problems with my NHS employers, the stress these problems have caused me have resulted in me suffering from anxiety and panic attacks.

Why did it take 8 months to be diagnosed with slipped discs? I don’t want anyone else to go through what I am going through. I feel like if the first two doctors I saw had actually examined me this (ongoing) situation could have been avoided.

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Response from Kathryn Ferguson, Patient Affairs Manager, Primary Care Division, NHS Lanarkshire

Dear Gust938

Thank you for getting in touch - however I was sorry to read about your recent experiences with your GP. I can completely understand that you feel upset.

If you would like me to pass on your concerns to the Practice Manager of the GP Practice concerned I would be more than happy to assist, if you can contact me directly on 01698 858 292 or via email kathryn.ferguson@lanarkshire.scot.nhs.uk

Kind regards


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Response from Ruth Currie, Musculoskeletal Manager, Physiotherapy Services, NHS Lanarkshire

picture of Ruth Currie

Dear Gust938,

Thank you for taking the time to contact us and let us know about your ongoing back pain. Back pain can be very distressing and debilitating and I was sorry to read how much your back pain is affecting your life. It would be useful to us to discuss your physiotherapy journey in order to make changes where we can improve things for you, and others in future. If you would like to make contact please telephone me, Ruth Currie, Physiotherapy MSK Manager, on 01698 723246.

Kind regards,


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