"Consultant lets down the Department."

About: Northampton General Hospital (Acute)

I went for my first appointment with Vascular Services today - 13/5/14. It could well be my last. The Waiting Area was fully occupied but the Staff seemed to be keeping on top of it all. I didn't have to wait long to be seen by an HCA who weighed and measured me and took my Blood Pressure. She was really friendly and put me at my ease. She even found an extra chair for me near to the door to the examining rooms as I am quite disabled. She went above and beyond the call of duty. After an interval of around 20 minutes my name was called and I was led to a room by a Nurse and told to wait for a few minutes. Sure enough, within those few minutes, a young lady came in and introduced herself by name, adding that she was a Student Doctor. She asked if I would mind answering a few questions and then let her perform an examination. I had no problems with this and I can report that at all times she treated me with respect and kindness. I hope that this attitude to her patients will not be influenced by the Consultant. He walked in, introduced himself and shook my hand. That was where any patient/doctor interaction stopped. He poked and prodded with no attempt at telling me what he was going to do or why. In the meantime, he talked to his Student across me. I might as well have been a practice dummy. At no time did he ask about pain or anything else. I did not get the opportunity to point out that I am on the waiting-list for Hip Replacement Surgery. Neither could I tell him about the Morphine which I take and the effect it has. He turned to me eventually. He brusquely told me that I must lose weight quickly. He ignored me when I tried to tell him about the weight-loss programme I am on and carried on to say that I must, of course, give up smoking. He was not even vaguely nice. He ordered me to do these things as if he was always unquestioningly obeyed. He showed no intention of being helpful. When I tried to talk to him he waved me aside and walked out giving instructions to his Student over his shoulder. I'm glad to say that was the last I saw of him. The Student Doctor offered me a wan smile and said she would go and find out what was going to happen next. On her return she told me that I would be receiving an Out-Patient Appointment for Scans and then a return visit to the consultant in about two months time. Then I was shown how to get out of the labyrinth which is Vascular Services and abandoned on my two walking sticks a long way from the door. I think that she really didn't know what to say and just wanted to run away from me. All in all not the most delightful experience I have ever had. I really was under the impression that his God-like, Sexist and possibly ageist attitude had been pushed out of the NHS. I was wrong.

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Response from Northampton General Hospital (Acute)

Hello Anne. Thank you for getting in touch, and we're really sorry to hear about your poor experience in vascular services yesterday. We'll ask our Patient Advice and Liaison Service to follow this up and reply to you.