"Distressed by my experience at Benenden Hospital"

About: benenden hospital

(as the patient),

I recently received a call from a consultant's secretary informing me that the consultant wanted me to attend the Benenden Hospital in Kent for a gastroscopy the following week. I was informed that the consultant had read the referral letter sent by my GP and that there was no need to see me first as he would do a gastroscopy anyway.

I was very anxious when I attended the hospital as I had never met the consultant and was about to undergo a very frightening, invasive procedure. The hospital was very clean, I didn't have to wait long before a nurse took me into an office to fill in the paperwork and complete the necessary observations. I was then asked to stand in the corridor with my husband while the nurse tried to 'catch the doctor'. After about five minutes my husband and I were ushered into room where we met the consultant for the first time. I'm sad to say he did nothing to put me at ease; he filled in the consent form and then told me to read two paragraphs and sign if I agreed with it. The consent form stated that any complications had been explained to me, when I asked the consultant about complications he told me that I should have received that information in the post.

He then told me about possible perforation and when I asked him if the facilities were available to treat this eventuality I was told that this had never happened to one of his patients and if it did I would have to be transferred to another hospital. I felt like running away I was so scared. I can't remember him addressing me once by my name. By the time I went into the gastroscopy room my pulse rate had soared to 110, I asked if my husband could accompany me as I felt I couldn't trust the doctor as I'd spent approx 5 minutes with him and he'd done nothing in that time to reassure me.

I opted for sedation and when he failed to get it in my left elbow he told me to roll onto my back and tried the other arm. I felt like a slab of meat, he didn't even apologize for failing to get the cannula in first time. The nurses did their best to reassure me and were very kind. After the procedure I was taken to the recovery area given a drink and biscuits and then a nurse came to see me armed with leaflets, she didn't know whether one of the leaflets on Barretts oesophagus was relevant to me so she went in search of the consultant, he walked back with her and while we were all standing he announced in full earshot of the other patients that I had a hernia and told me I would probably need an operation. When my husband and I asked about it he told us to read the leaflet. I later found out from reading the report that I have Barretts oesophagus.

Ever since this procedure I have been having nightmares and I feel traumatized. I will refuse to see him in future.

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