"Could do much better"

About: National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery, Queen Square

Anything else?

Firstly, to those who've had their ops cancelled, see: http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/2563.aspx?CategoryID=68&SubCategoryID=162 where it says that if you're not given a date following a cancelled op [cancelled 'at the last minute' or on the day you're due to go in] within 28 days, then you can choose to "be treated at another time & hospital of your choice. The existing hospital will pay for this." Use your rights. Tell them you want to go to, eg, the Princess Grace Hospital, just off Marylebone High St., or the other private one down the Cromwell Road! It's up to them to administrate things properly. You, the taxpayer, spend millions on the NHS & expect treatment when ill. Re. the NHNN, the 1st Consultant was terrible. I was referred in c.March 2011 for a badly prolapsed lumbar disc & was never offered a date from the 1st dr, despite his Registrar telling me at my 1st appt. that I would need to wait but I would be offered a date within 6 months, which I accepted. I tried to remind this Consultant of my existence umpteen X's, just in case he'd forgotten about me. He just wouldn't reply without me initiating a complaint. I strongly suspect he thought that I could look after myself privately & chose to ignore me. He even destroyed some handwritten notes taken at our only appt, which I believe could have indicated a v. slight form of Cauda Equina at an earlier stage. I was then transferred to another Consultant who at least didn't ignore my attempts to contact her. Whilst waiting this inexorable length of time for an op, I had time to research things. It seems that the only op the NHS offer is a Micro-discectomy, which is not as "micro" as it sounds. It's Open Surgery performed under General Anaesthetic & leaves a several inch scar down your back. However, those lucky enough to be able to pay privately can seek out one of the few surgeons in the UK who perform Endoscopic discectomy ops. This is done via cameras, usually under regional anaesthesia & only leaves c.1cm scar, which can be sealed up afterwards with a plaster. Less scar tissue isn't just cosmetically nice: it means less tissue dissection, less internal scarring & a quicker healing process. This new fangled method mightn't be right for all. Some may still require the traditional discectomy op. However, you don't even get the choice of this alternative method on the NHS, who just slice into you in the traditional manner. I'm now having lumbar injections, amongst other reasons to try & diagnose the pain culprit (ie. the dodgy disc or just unknown general backpain). If I need do need an op, I now know not to bother with the NHS. Moral of the tale: Don't keep patients waiting so long that they go off & investigate their own condition & then become v. dissatisfied with the limited options offered by the NHS. Truth to tell, I probably wouldn't now know about the alternative method if the 1st dr hadn't been so rotten.

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Response from National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery, Queen Square

Thank you for taking the time to notify us of your concerns. I am extremely sorry to hear that you have had a poor experience. We would be grateful if you could make contact with us so that your concerns can be investigated. Please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 020 3447 3042 or by email to pals@uclh.nhs.uk

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