"Forget the mental illness, but please treat the gall bladder problem"

About: Devon Partnership NHS Trust / Liaison psychiatry Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford) / General surgery

(as a friend),

My friend has been to the doctor quite a lot lately with a suspected gall bladder infection. This lasted over 2 weeks and is still painful. Two local doctors and a surgeon at the Royal Devon and Exeter hospital confirmed the diagnosis.

The morning following a night in hospital, a doctor saw my friend's mental health diagnosis and neglected to give my friend any ultrasound scan which would have taken ten minuites, and after muttering something about manic depression told my friend "its just a bug" and to eat and go home.

This seems all quite idiotic and going against his colleagues. This took place on Lowman ward in Exeter.

Following seeing another out of hours doctor and nurse in Tiverton, you can imagine the aghast look on their faces having heard this story and that my friend was admitted to hospital and leaving with no follow up scan. My friend is in extreme pain and on strong pain killers.

The nursing staff and surgeon were excellent, just the hospital doctor. My friend now awaits an ultrasound scan which she could have received on admission to hospital - its not hard to do. Extreme pain continues and I feel that having to wait until the end of the month for a local ultrasound scan is very poor.

The local gp and nurse simply could not understand the attitude of the doctor on lowman ward. A very unproductive and perhaps prejudiced attitude towards mental health issues too.

After all, it was not my friend's mental health difficulties that were the problem but a very painful gall bladder infection.

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