"Terrible experience at Greenway GUM"

About: Newham General Hospital / General medicine

(as the patient),

I saw my GP in the morning as I was concerned about having piles. I was shocked to learn that they were not piles but anal warts. I was told to go to local GUM clinic (The Greenway at Newham Hospital). I promptly went along the same afternoon. A friend had advised me to get there before the doors opens as you could end up waiting 2 or more hours to be seen. I took there advice but it did not lessen the dreadful experience.

The triage system was dreadful. You are required to fill out a form and then fight for a window to register your place in the queue. None of this was explained and there were no clear signs to explain the procedure. Eventually I asked another patient who asked if this was my first time. When I replied yes, she was far more helpful than the staff. Later another patient asked me what to do next! ! !

Getting there early did pay off as I was seen only half an hour after the doors opened.

The doctor appeared friendly and welcoming but offered no explanation of the consultation and promptly began asking questions about my sexual habits. I don't have an issue with this but it would have been nice to have been offered a raison d'etre - especially as it had little relevance for my being referred to the clinic on this occasion. Eventually I was able to explain the problem and the doctor set about examining me. After few moments she informed me she was going to send for a nurse. Both then set about to treat me without any explanation of the procedure. I had to stop them and insist on a full explanation of what was happening.

It was not explained to me how painful the procedure was going to be and it was only afterwards that I was told I would continue to feel pain for the next 7-10 days. Clearly this piece of information impacts on my daily life and I may have re-arranged my affairs to accommodate. I was in a lot of pain at this point, felling nauseous from the experience and breaking out into a cold sweat. I was in no state to listen to medical advice. In the end I snapped at the doctor asking if all that information was in the leaflet she had given me as I knew I was not taking any of it in and wanted to check up on what I should do later when in a better frame of mind.

Whilst I am glad I got the treatment, I found the whole experience very unsatisfactory with no opportunity for me to make an informed choice. Dreadful organisation and dreadful medical care! ! ! ! !

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