"The consultants I have seen treat ..."

About: Charing Cross Hospital

What I liked

The consultants I have seen treat me as an intelligent person and I feel they take what I say into account before making decisions on my care.

What could be improved

I attend regulary appointments (6 monthly) with a consultant gastroenterologist and have found that every time I go there is a subtle and often frustrating change to the pre-appointment procedures. It may seem picky but I prefer not to have to carry a jar of my urine with me all day if I don't need to submit a sample.

The admin staff can be extremely helpful but at other times have given me the impression that I was getting in the way of them doing their work.

My hospital records were lost at one stage so I had to undergo a series of tests to replace the data lost. Just booking the tests involved a complicated tour of the hospital that left me fuming. I'm an able bodied, competent individual with English as my first language yet still I struggled to find my way to the various departments I needed to go to as each of them seemed to be completely oblivious of the function of the others. An integrated appointment system would be extremely helpful or, at least, somewhere to go for overall guidance.

My worst experience came, without a doubt, when I had attended a colonoscopy appointment. I have previous experience of colonoscopies (outside London) so was prepared for a level of discomfort and indignity but not the utter humiliation I felt following my treatment at Charing Cross. I had to undress, with only a curtain for modesty, in front of the mixed sex waiting area. Following the procedure I was sat, semi-sedated and in a pool of my own rectal secretions, in front of the same mixed sex waiting area. The nurse seemed surprised that my heart rate was up! Having finally been given the all clear I had to clean myself and re-dress behind the flimsy curtain. I was then sent home, alone, having fasted for two days.

Previously I was given access to a private room, where I could clean myself in private and I was also not allowed to leave until I had eaten and had a drink. I felt that the nursing staff actually cared that I didn't keel over and die after my departure, not something I was convinced of at Charing Cross.

Story from NHS Choices

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