"What one would really wish for from your local GP"

About: Chagford Health Centre Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford) / Neurology

(as the patient),

My problem developed very quickly, on a Saturday night when I realised I had a problem with my balance and thought I may have drunk too much although fairly certain I hadn't. I woke on Sunday morning without a hangover but still with a balance problem affecting my eyes although not as bad as the night before (maybe aggravated by alcohol).

I thought it would pass, however on Monday I woke and it was worse but despite that I went to work. I had developed Nystagmus where the eyes move very fast towards one side which made it impossible to concentrate on the computer screen.

My wife booked me an appointment mid-morning at the Chagford Health Centre for 5 pm that day! I saw Dr Eracleous who tested me thoroughly before suggesting that I may have Labyrinthitis. I was given a prescription for a symptoms suppressant.

It was at this point that the Chagford Health Centre really stepped up to the mark. I was feeling so unwell that I decided not to go to work next day and at 9 am next morning I received an unexpected call from the CHC asking if I could attend an appointment with Dr Claridge and Dr Eracleous at 10. 20. Dr Eracleous had been concerned about my condition and wished a second opinion.

When I attended I was given another thorough examination by Dr Claridge who felt that my symptoms warranted further investigation in case I had suffered a minor stroke. She said that she would try and arrange an appointment at the Royal Devon and Exeter hospital for as soon as possible.

Again at 9 am next morning, Wednesday, I received a call offering me an appointment at the RD & E at 11. 00 am. I saw a consultant, Dr Martin James, who carried out a number of tests and was very thorough and I thought perceptive.

He was reasonably sure that I had developed a viral inner ear infection causing Vestibular Neuritis but wanted to be certain so he arranged an immediate CT scan. I have since read the symptoms of VN and they mirror so perfectly what I have experienced even to the recent incidence of falling into a bedside light that was on my left hand side (the side affected) ...

On walking or during the Romberg's test, the patient tends to fall towards the affected side. All said, I would like to say that I find it staggering (please excuse the pun) that one can call your doctor and within two days have had this sort of service.

They do say that there is nothing so valuable as one's health and I will think twice before leaving an area where this sort of service is available. I would like to raise a glass (yes I can do that) to the Chagford Health Centre and the RD & E and thank them heartily for what can only be described as exemplary patient care, Bravo!

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Response from Patient Engagement & Experience Administrator, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

Dear VItiris

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your story and hope that you are now recovering well.

It is always so rewarding to hear that our staff are continuing to provide excellent care to patients when they need it most.

Thank you again for taking the time to provide us with your feedback.


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