"Dermatology department - never again!"

About: Chelsea & Westminster Hospital

I had skin biopsy done. I wanted to check-in myself not to burden reception, however, my GP’s name was incorrect so had to cancel self check-in and went to reception. I was there 20 minutes prior to my appointment. 20 minutes after my appointment was due I asked a nurse walking by if they were running late. She didn’t know so went to find out. She came back telling me yes but they knew I was there waiting. 50 minutes after my appointment was due I went back to reception as something was suspicious. There was another receptionist and he could not find me checked-in. Apparently the one before didn’t check me in properly. Then I really want to know why I was told earlier the doctor knew I was there....I hate my time being wasted especially when I turn up on time, even earlier! 15 minutes later finally got in and before that another nurse told me that probably the other receptionist made a mistake at check-in. The doctor wanted to put the local anaesthetic injection needle into me without sterilising the area! I asked him “are you gonna use a swab?” Answer: “you don’t need that”. Really?! Well I do, as I’m prone to infections for various reasons but even if I wasn’t the skin must be swabbed before you put a needle in! I had skin biopsy before and the area was swabbed! Absolutely ridiculous. Local anaesthetic didn’t wear off for 11 hours. Quite strange as when had the other biopsy at another place it wore off after 2 hours. But that’s the smaller problem, the following day it’s still bleeding and the area is badly bruised deep purple colour. So I call the number they gave me. The nurse told me to change the dressing and apply pressure. Yes, that’s what I’ve been doing...She also said I should elevate my leg and not supposed to work for 2-3 days. Well nobody told me that! The other nurse who was at the biopsy didn’t tell me anything just gave me that piece of paper but none of this is written on that. And by the way working in an office, seeing clients, how exactly should I elevate my legs?? That’s not possible in a busy working environment! Not just that, the nurse over the phone told me I shouldn’t walk around much. Well that would be great but my job involves walking around too! I could have arranged days off if somebody would have told me I should not go to work after this procedure. The nurse I spoke to over the phone was the same who finally got me in for the biopsy. She is the only helpful person I met! I got two stitches. I asked if it was absolutely necessary as the other biopsy site I had earlier was not stitched together but still healing great. Was told yes despite the same amount of skin was removed. Now it’s painful as the stitches are pulling my skin! I would not be surprised if that’s causing the bleeding. Annoying and horrible experience!!

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Response from Chelsea & Westminster Hospital

Hello, We are sorry to hear about your experience. If you wish for the hospital to investigate your concerns, please contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Office at pals@chelwest.nhs.uk or complaints.team@chelwest.nhs.uk Kind regards, Patient Advice and Liaison

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