"What a "Carry On", at the QMC!"

About: Queen's Medical Centre / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as the patient),

I've been suffering with a trapped nerve type problem with my neck. No-one has been able to state what the problem actually is. I had to push my GP to get an appointment to see a Specialist. The GP was to write to me. I waited, and waited, and after a week rang the surgery. They thought they'd already sent me a letter! So they printed it off, and I collected it. I then discovered that I even had to book my own appointment online, or by phone.

The Choose & Book website looked a good option, as it listed the earliest dates at various hospitals. Although the stated waiting time for an appointment for each hospital was listed, none of the hospitals had appointments that soon. I selected the earliest, 8 weeks later. By checking it later, I managed to get an earlier date, one week earlier, (presumably a cancellation). I thought I was winning...

When I attended the QMC Spinal Clinic, it was just "one of the Specialists team", who spoke poor English. He asked me what I thought should happen next! As I haven't had any sort of X-ray or scan, to identify why I have been in pain for months, I suggested one. He was reluctant, unless I immediately agreed to have surgery. When I declared that once I knew it was appropriate, from the findings of the scan, I would consider the options, and risks, he finally agreed.

When I'd got my date for the MRI scan, I tried to schedule for an appointment for a week or so after that, when the results would be available. But I couldn't do that. I would have to wait for the Spinal Clinic to receive the results, and for them to contact me, to tell me when I could see a 'Specialist' again.

The day before my scan, the MRI dept rang me to rebook my scan, because I'd allegedly rung them to cancel! I denied that, and they told me they could actually fit me in 30 minutes earlier at the QMC.

When I did go for the MRI scan, there were staff just stood around, chatting about "Chocolate Pizzas", "Wedding dresses", partners, and other gossip. This seemed daft to me, since, if they have such needed equipment, why were their spare staff stood around with the equipment not being used as much as it might (e.g. to reduce waiting lists?). I even overheard that they hadn't a clue why they'd got a mobile MRI scanner booked over the weekend, when they hadn't any patients booked in, and weren't sure how they'd get the car park gate open!

When they eventually took me through towards the scanner, they asked me what part of my anatomy I wanted scanning, as they couldn't find me on the computer! I was listed for another location!

So, I'm now waiting for the results, and was told "not to think that we've forgotten you... We'll get back to you... in due course...".

What a "Carry On", at the Queen's Medical Centre!

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