"Lodged gall stone since February 2009"

About: The James Cook University Hospital / General surgery

(as the patient),

I fell in on 14th February this year. By 20th February it was getting serious. I was initially treated for back spasms on 15th February, still in excruciating pain I was told I had pluracy and was given antibiotics on 17th February. I eventually saw a doctor who actually knew that it was and inflamed gallbladder on 20th February. He wanted to admit me to hospital and in hind sight maybe that is what I should have done but he gave me more antibiotics which made a difference by 21st February.

I was still in alot of pain but the inflamation was taken down by the antibiotics. My Doctor asked for an urgent scan and a number of occassions but James Cook hospital in Middlesbrough ignored his urgent messages. I eventually got a scan on 22nd March and still in excruciating pain. There is a large gall stone lodged at the entrance of the gall bladder and this is where all the pain is coming from. I cant function without painkiller and I cant sleep very well so the doctor doesnt think I am fit for work. He referred me to a specialist on 24th March by fax stating that this is an urgent case because I am still in alot of pain.

I eventually saw the specialist on 7th May. Who said what my doctor had already told me the stone and the gallbladder needs removing. I am still waiting for a date for the operation and it is now almost 5 weeks since my consultation with the specialist. I have rang the hospital on numerous occasions but when a specialists secretary goes on holiday all appoints stop till she gets back apparently. I complained that I should be seen within 18 weeks and was transferred to another specialist whos waiting list is shorter. Unfortunatley I cannot be given a date yet because she has now gone on holiday.

After complaints to the secretary and to PALS it doesnt look like I am getting anywhere or even that myself and my doctor are being listened to. It is now 4 months of sleepless nights and constant pain and no urgency from the hospital to help me out. I don't know who to turn to now for help but I do not think that the NHS has improved in any way regarding waiting lists. If I am not back to work within the next 6 weeks I go onto half pay and who is going to compensate me for that!!!!!!! I dob't blame anyone for taking out private health care

I only wish I had done it a long time ago but I did have faith in our health service.

I am at the end of my tether and don't know which way to turn. I even ended up in A& E one day but was left for 6 hours before being sent home and wasnt even offered as much as a pain killer. So forgive me if I don't applaud our great NHS or Middlesbroughs state of the art hospital. I feel totally let down.

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