"Negative experience of care for rare illness"

About: Leeds PCT

(as the patient),

I have been a patient at the Street Lane Practice since we moved to Leeds 19 years ago, and rarely if ever visit. When I have it has been for straightforward matters like vaccination advice for international travel and I have found the nurse friendly and helpful. Two years ago I developed a rare disorder associated with high blood pressure and abnormal body chemistry. The treatment I got was off-hand and passive: I had to ask to be referred to a specialist; when I did see a GP I was asked the absolute minimum about how I was; I arranged my own tests without a word of thanks. The only appointment I was offered spontaneously was clearly so the practice could earn its QoF points. Despite taking (at that time) 5 drugs I wasn't asked about side effects - no QoF (Quality and outcomes framework) points = no interest. Interviews were impersonal to the point of rudeness, one GP didn't even introduce himself.

At my last appointment I started explaining something about how I felt emotionally after a stressful two years and I could tell the GP wasn't interested; I stopped talking in mid-sentence and he didn't notice. I felt humiliated by the experience. I have never been back and I have now changed practice. I don't need to see my new GP since I have had curative surgery at St James (excellent care, another story) and my depression eventually resolved spontaneously but at least I feel I could bring myself to go if I needed to.

I know my experience is not unique but I don't suppose you'll get many complaints. People tend to put up with patronising self-satisfied doctors.

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Response from Heather Simpson

Thank you for your recent comments on Patient Opinion. I am sorry to hear that you have had a negative experience of care with the Street Lane Practice, Leeds PCT welcomes and encourages any feedback from patients, carers and service users in a continued effort to improve the patient experience and to that end I will share your concerns anonymously with the GP Practice Manager. I am sure the practice will be keen to hear your feedback as they are committed to providing a high quality service. The practice operates a robust complaints procedure and any issues patients may wish to raise with the practice are acted upon accordingly.

I am pleased to hear that the PCT has commissioned care of a high standard at St James Hospital and hope that the GP Practice you have now registered with provides you with a good standard of service.

If you would like any further help or assistance please contact PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service) who will be happy to discuss any issues with you. Tel: 0800 0525 270

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