"I feel the doctor did not listen to me"

About: University College Hospital / Gastroenterology

(as the patient),

I attended the Gastroenterology clinic at UCH to continue treatment for an ulcerative colitis. I would like to say that I am very unhappy with the treatment and lack of respect for my wishes and 37 years of experience in coping with my colitis.

I was forced to come to UCH because the Homeopathic Hospital (where I had been treated for 34 years) could no longer provide adequate care due to closure of patient facilities.

I had been treating my flare ups with antibiotics successfully for 15 years, which had enabled me to reduce my Prednisolone to 2.5mg. I asked my doctor for a change of antibiotics because I was starting an exacerbation. She declined to give them to me.

I was sent off with instructions to use enemas, which were impossible as they caused pain and itching and caused a lot of bleeding. I rang for an emergency appointment which did not materialise for three weeks. By this time the disease was totally out of control. My ESR was 84 and I was in a lot of pain.

With unsuccessful treatment I am now back on 30mg Prednisolone knowing I shall probably be made to reduce these back to 2.5mg due to growing resistance to antibiotics. Apart from unnecessary and prolonged pain and suffering my future health has been compromised by the steroids.

I warned my doctor but she ignored me.

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Response from Consultant Gastroenterologist, University College Hospital

I am sorry that you feel dissatisfied with your consultation.

Normally we do suggest a colonoscopy to assess the disease before we agree on a treatment plan, because it is a good way to see directly what is going on.

Antibiotics are not a recognised treatment for flare-ups of ulcerative colitis, and there are a number of good reasons to be cautious about prescribing them.

I am sorry we were not sufficiently clear in explaining this in the clinic. I will discuss with the team how we can improve the information we provide about treating flare-ups.

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