"consultant lack of ability to communicate and listen"

About: Derriford Hospital / Gastroenterology

(as the patient),

I visited the outpatients department today at Derriford Hospital, to arrange my gallbladder operation (Cholecystectomy removal) and the consultant was more concerned that my BMI was over 40, than the fact that I was in so much pain and concerned about being rushed in as an emergency patient.

I was told that because of the BMI was over 40 I was looking at a four month wait and will be placed on a strict diet in order to loose more weight.

The consultant was not even in the slightest impressed that I have previously lost a lot of weight (or that my diet is already low fat) or the fact that I have been unable to work or study for my degree, due to this condition.

the consultant was more interested in the weight issue and the fact that they felt that my condition was not severe enough to be issued a date and that a four month wait was appropriate. Yes I am fully aware of the potential issue that weight can have pre and post surgery however, the consultants listening skills and lack of ability to provide empathy when a patient is in distress, is disturbing and has provided more stress and not relief that this will be sorted and removed in order for myself to return back to normal life.

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Response from Mary Anderson, Senior Quality Facilitator, Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust

Dear Barbra

Thank you for your posting and I am sorry to read of your concerns regarding your recent surgical consultation. I will ensure your comments are fed back to the Service Line Team regarding the issues you have raised with us about the need for empathy and effective communication.

Kind regards


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