"Insensitive, inconsiderate jobsworths - a hospital..."

About: St Helier Hospital

What could be improved

I was referred to St Helier hospital in January to have a difficult tooth removed - as an emergency. Three months after my referral, I went to an appointment where the insensitive dentist poked and prodded the offending tooth two or three times, told me it needed to be removed, and then sent me off to make an appointment to have the procedure done.

The first appointment available was another three months after my initial appointment.

And that's it.

The receptionist thought it was funny that I was almost crying with pain and fury.

I was put on the "pain list", which is the biggest waste of time - if a cancellation came up, I would be called. The sound of silence has been deafening.

The woman I saw actually made my tooth hurt more by banging around with her implements.

I can only sleep with the help of some super-strong painkillers which leave me woozy and groggy during the working day (which I had to buy on the internet because I couldn't get a prescription from this stupid woman). And I am keeping Nurofen in business during the day just to ensure I can function on a basic level.

At no point has anyone at St Helier shown any sort of urgency or concern. Even the patient advocacy people have been rubbish, just giving me a load of platitudes and nothing more. The oral surgery booking people keep talking about "acceptable timescales"...they are "within their guidelines" ...so that's the end of that. Six months of constant pain's acceptable?

I live in hope that when I do eventually go into hospital to have this tooth out (six months+ after my original appointment) that I don't have to meet the butcher dentist again - she couldn't have been less sensitive if she'd gone into my mouth with a sledgehammer. I can't remember what it's like to have a day without pain.

Avoid this hospital like the plague - they are definitely not fit for purpose.

Anything else?

A total and utter disgrace.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from St Helier Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to let us have feedback about the care you have received at St Helier Hospital.

As you can imagine, I am concerned to hear about the concerns you have raised and apologise for the anxiety this must have caused.

To be able to help you, and to be able to explain what may have gone wrong, I would ask that you contact our PALS (patient advice and liaison service) team. They will be able to look into this matter further and provide you with support and advice. Their telephone number is 020 8296 2508. Alternatively, you can email pals@esth.nhs.uk or visit www.epsom-sthelier.nhs.uk/pals.

Once again, thank you for your feedback. I am sorry to hear of the concerns you have raised.

Pippa Hart

Director of Nursing

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