About: Chelsea & Westminster Hospital

First time I had a Colonoscopy, everything went fine. I have diabetes and had polio when a teenager. Went in to hospital night before, and was monitored constantly; but then my medical insurance company paid for this. Next time I had to go on NHS - my faith in this service was that it would be OK - but it wasn't. First of all I had to insist and insist that I spoke to the Anaesthetist (polio patient have to have an anaesthetic) before the procedure; Assessment Nurse tried to tell me I would see him before you go in to Theatre". I had to tell her, very strongly, that he might need to give me drugs that he might not have to hand - so he needed to be told. Then, the night before, when I was taking all the pre-op medicines, I was incredibly ill. Phoned NHS Direct (now sadly turned into 111) and was lucky enough to be phoned by Chief Endoscopy Nurse of major General hospital in Yorkshire. This nurse was horrified and told me that anyone with just one of my condition would always be taken into hospital the night before. Yet the Foundation hospital in London didn't think it necessary. Luckily, thanks to this Nurse literally talking me through what I needed to do, and monitoring me all the time, everything was OK. But anyone having such a procedure in UK or similar area to London, make sure you check everything out beforehand. I feel there is definitely a Post-code lottery in operation.

Story from NHS Choices

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