"Don't expect them to listen to you..."

About: Hammersmith Hospital

I had to wait 30 mins, watching a screen that said 'we are currently running on time' when I attended the out patient dermatology clinic this week. When I approached the staff they said my doctor had not arrived yet, but 5 mins later I was called by a doctor I had seen arriving at least 20 mins previously. My bum was not yet fully on my seat before the consultant spouted a diagnosis (without asking me what my problem was). I repeatedly tried to put across my primary complaint - only to be interrupted, dismissed or have the subject changed. I was given advice that I tried to explain had had only exacerbated my problem before, but this was ignored also. The consultant was beeped several times during my appointment and would just stop mid sentence and call the ward they had been beeped from. This happened more than once. When I described my allergies I was then challenged about the medication I had previously been on - making it sound like either I was lying about my previous treatment or I was lying about my allergy. How can you study for ten years and not be willing to spend ten minutes listening to a patient's complaint? You would think after the mid staffs debacle that medical professionals would take their responsibility more seriously - but it is very clear that the NHS do not drive through values that promote patient centered treatment. I had a tumour removed last year after having two other medical professionals dismiss my concerns about a growth for more than a year. Previous to this I had a gp accuse me of being a prescription drug user for requesting the medication I take every day for my disability. These kind of practitioners make a mockery of the hippicratic oath - they do not serve patients, they serve their own egos. I was referred because I have a problem, I expected a solution from the medical practitioner entrusted with my care. How is jumping to conclusions professional? How is dismissing my primary complaint delivering or providing responsible care? I will be making a strong recommendation to my GP that no further patients are referred to this hospital as patient needs and concerns are ignored or dismissed. No wonder patients are unwilling to discuss problems with health care providers and many conditions are caught too late (or not at all). There was a survey before my appointment about my satisfaction with the transport to the hospital - HH would be better off doing surveys of patient satisfaction afterwards. I found this consultants attitude dismissive, unsupportive, uncaring and - most disturbingly - superior... Clearly she thought there was no need for me to speak as she could divinely intuit my problem and knew what me problem was better than I did, as she constantly disagreed with me about what bothered me and why I was there?

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Response from Hammersmith Hospital

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust is very concerned and dissappointed to read of your experience. This is certainly not the experience we aim to provide and we sincerely apologise for the distress that you were caused. You have raised some significant issues that need to be investigated and addressed with the clinician involved. To facilitate this we hope that you will contact our PALS service pals@imperial.nhs.uk Your feedback is important to us, we look forward to hearing from you and we apologise again.

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