"It was reasonably clean, quiet, and I..."

About: Gloucestershire Royal Hospital

What I liked

It was reasonably clean, quiet, and I wasn't kept waiting too long. That said, it would polite if the consultant acknowledged that you have been kept waiting. I was an outpatient, and while I definately feel like a number, that is more down to pressures on staff, it seems. They are ok, but not friendly, just focused. This has been my experience in the many times I have been there with either my children or for myself.

What could be improved

Listening skills.

I had been referred by the GP for pain in my jaw, both sides. This is TMJ, I know that, and it's been there a long time. I didn't need a diagnosis, I need help. I asked for a referral because it has got to the stage that the pain and speaking is a problem. The examination hurt. The doctor was not gentle. My son was with me, and was very concerned, asking if I was alright when we got outside. He is 9yrs old, and yes, now I've learned I'd better not take him with me again. I was not allowed to complete my sentences. I was not listened to. When I said I had permanent toothache the consultant shrugged and pointed out that it could be the tooth because of an abscess. I was actually speechless. This must have shown in my face. I've had this for almost three years, spent huge sums on dentistry, crowns, root canal work, and the dentists have said they can pull teeth, but it won't help, to see a doctor. But, the doctor wasn't interested, seemed to think it was my problem because they didn't have x-rays, and anyway, that wasn't what I was referred for! I gave up quite quickly because my son was there, and I didn't want an argument. I have gone back to the GP, and asked for another referral.

Anything else?

If the staff are really that pushed for time, maybe you should be sending out a 'how to speak to the consultant'. This would include to bullet point specific symptoms that you have already identified after discussion with your family and friends. Make it clear before patients arrive that they have a limited amount of time to explain themselves, and to repeat where necessary. This may sound sarcastic, it is not. I am aware that some people take an age to get to the point, and miss relevant information. It would also mean that consultants might listen.

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