"If more absesses re-emerge it will be delayed even..."

About: Royal Berkshire Hospital

What I liked

I was made welcome, given adequate attention, and was seen by a caring doctor.

What could be improved

Answering your telephone when people call,

Realising that some things are truly urgent and not treat people as if they were cattle by staff who think their world is far more important and the patient can wait.

I have no idea if receptionists are trained nurses as they do not seem to realises how much the patient is suffering.

Anything else?

In early May 2012 I attended my local dentist who for some reason refused to do some 5 extractions and said he would refer me to the Royal Berkshire, I waited several weeks and demanded to know why it was taking so long to get an appointment, I was told it normally takes 6/8 weeks.

In the meantime I got a huge absess in my gum and was prescribed antibiotics by the dentist who also informed me that the hospital had lost my papers and that they would have to re apply, this was now August 2012.

Again I waited and was finally given an appointment for November, I telephoned and requested for something earlier as I was suffering from severe pain and had been on antibiotics and pain killers for over 2 months. An appointment was made with a doctor in mid September.

When I turned up, the doctor informed me that there was nothing he could do as I had another absess and that it was severe and going into my nasal cavity. The doctor also suggested I did not go back to my dentist as I was being severely abused by them and needed urgent treatment. He asked me to come in for an X-ray after the absess has gone, and to contact the receptionist to make an urgent appointment.

I went back to my dentist got more antibiotics and this time more medicine to inrease the strength of the antibiotics plus many more boxes of very strong pain killer pills.

When the absess subsided I came in and had an X-ray as instructed by the doctor. Then went home and called the customer appointment section,

I called 16 times over a period of 5 days but all I ever got was an answering machine saying

" I am on another call or out of the office, leave your telephone number and I will call you back " Do you think I was ever called back, never. I had to call the doctor's secretary and ask her to please get someone to contact me.

I finally got through and was told the doctor said as soon as possible but not urgent so I was booked in sometime in late November, More absesses and more delays by then, cannot eat or sleep.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Royal Berkshire Hospital

Thank you for providing feedback about our oral & maxillofacial surgery services. We are sorry you had such an unsatisfactory visit. Unfortunately, at the time of your visit the department was under-resourced, resulting in very busy clinics with some delays in appointment times and answering phones. This has now been rectified. However, it is not acceptable that patients should ever be made to feel like ‘cattle’ and the department staff have been reminded to always treat patients with dignity and respect. We understand you have further dental appointments booked and hope that these will satisfactorily address your problems.

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