"The doctor didn't seem to listen to me"

About: Queen Elizabeth Hospital / Accident and emergency Queen Elizabeth Hospital / Neurosurgery

(as the patient),

I visited the A&E department at the QEHB in mid-May.

First impressions great, the triage sister was fantastic and took me straight through to have my obs done. Nursing Auxillary was lovely very friendly and informative, so far so good.

The A&E doctor came to examine me and again was lovely, treated me with dignity and respect and listened to what I had to say. The doctor said she was arranging for MRI scan and would get the neurosurgeons to see me. I was discharged recently from this hospital following a spinal operation and my pain had got worse and I had new symptoms so as advised on discharge I went back.

Now it gets worse. A neurosurgeon doctor came to see me after my MRI scan. I tried explaining what was wrong but they would not listen. They were very abrupt and kept talking over me. They kept asking me to wiggle my toes of which I had already said was a new symptom and couldn't move my foot. They would not listen and started getting angry and shouting "do it, it won't hurt your back". My husband had to step in at this point as I was upset and tell them that if they had listened in the first place they would know I couldn't do it.

In the end they said they had spoken to a consultant who said go home and take painkillers.

I tried again to explain that I had all these same symptoms before my operation and nothing was any better so basically what was the point. They were not interested and said well your discs are removed so that's it.

I have never in my life felt so humiliated and spoken to like this. It was evident that they were not interested in my condition.

I left in agony, after being there for 7 hours, with no help or any answers so today here I am just the same but too scared to go back in case I see the same doctor again.

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Response from Nicky Westwood, Patient Relations & Experience Manager, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback on your experience in the Emergency Department at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. We welcome all feedback and would like to assure you that all comments are taken seriously and acted upon as part of our ongoing commitment to improving patient experience.

Thank you for your kind words about the Emergency Department nursing and medical staff. We are delighted that you had such a positive experience. Your comments have been passed onto the senior staff responsible for this service; they will ensure your feedback is shared with their team members.

We are very concerned however to hear about the experience you had whilst being assessed by the Neurosurgical doctor. We expect our staff to treat everybody with dignity and respect, showing compassion and care in all their interactions with patients. We are very sorry that this was not your experience. Your feedback has been shared with the senior management team responsible for Neurosurgery who are keen to fully address your concerns. To help us do this we would be very grateful if you would contact us and give us further details. We are also keen to ensure that you have the opportunity to discuss your current health concerns with the appropriate medical team.

Please make contact via our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) team who will make the necessary arrangements.

PALS can be contacted by phone 0121 371 3280, by email PALS@uhb.nhs.uk, via the hospital website http://www.uhb.nhs.uk/pals-form.htm or in person by dropping in between 9am – 4.30pm (Mon-Fri) to the PALS office located to the left of the Information Desk in the main entrance of the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.

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