"No relief from hip pain from NHS or private care"

About: Calverley Medical Centre Nuffield Health, Leeds Hospital Spire Leeds Hospital

(as the patient),

I have severe pain in my hip and groin including pain urinating. My partner registered me as a temporary resident at Calverley medical centre because my doctor is in Barnsley (I have moved to Calverley but not yet changed GP).

I was accepted and an appointment was made. Given that my problem was in the 'nether region' I was embarrassed to find it was a female doctor (I am a 56 year old man). She was pleasant but she seemed distracted and she said she suspected it could be muscular or a urine infection. I was prescribed painkillers and I left.

A few days later the pain had got worse so I rang the surgery and asked for an appointment with a male doctor. The receptionist said there were none! I said 'do you mean there are really no male doctors at all?' (I was incredulous). She said quite categorically No. So I made another appointment to see whatever Doctor.

Then over a four week period of abject misery and after seeing several nurses, eight doctors (one of whom was most definitely a man), two x rays, several blood/urine tests and getting at least 5 different 'suggested' diagnosis ranging from 'muscular' sciatica, bursitis, urine infection, (and others I can't even remember) including doctors contradicting each other. I decided to seek advice elsewhere.

In great pain and after a sleepless night I drove to the nearest NHS 'Walk in centre' in nearby Bradford. There I was treated with the utmost courtesy and the doctor soon decided I needed to have an ultrasound scan and to see a urologist. She said she could arrange it there and then - all I had to do was register with reception! However I was soon deflated when the receptionist told me that my postcode was not in their catchment area. This meant the doctor couldn't even refer me to see a Urologist.

In the meantime my partner had to badger - almost coerce - Calverly medical centre to get a doctor to refer me to a consultant - eventually they did but to a gastroenterologist. The doctor said in the referral letter that I was constipated and had abdominal pains. I complained to the secretary, whose comment (among others) was 'you should have gone to see your own GP'.

After this I decided to 'bin' the NHS and go private. I decided to use Bupa instead. I had private medical insurance but this was only basic cover and the first £250 was to be paid by myself. Even then Bupa dragged their feet before agreeing to authorise any treatment. Then they referred me to a consultant in Kent! (I am in Yorkshire). This caused delays that encouraged me to return to the NHS (Calverley medical centre) again who eventually (after Bupa had questioned the merit of the 'gastroenterologist' referral) did refer me to a urologist - however by this time a Bupa manager intervened and persuaded me that their original mistakes were a rare aberration and to persevere with them, so in desperation I decided to continue with private healthcare even though we could hardly meet the cost.

Bupa then arranged an appointment in Leeds (Nuffield Hospital) with a consultant urologist. I had by now been in severe pain for several weeks.

I saw him in mid-September - he made me an appointment for the following Tuesday for an ultrasound - I thought that this was an inordinately long time to wait for a simple procedure that normally took a few minutes but I agreed. After the ultrasound I was told someone would ring me that day or the following day, but no one rang at all. I tried the telephone number I was given but there was no answer (Friday) and I was in severe pain all weekend.

On Monday my partner rang the consultant's secretary and insisted that something should be done. The consultants secretary reluctantly made an appointment for later that day at the 'Spire' hospital in Leeds. I attended but after waiting in pain until 4.30pm (without seeing the consultant) I informed the receptionist that I could wait no longer and left.

It is 13 days since I saw him - 13 days of pain, and yet I have received not one word from him. I have complained to Bupa and the NHS and have not yet had a response.

I feel like I am now in Limbo.

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