"In September, having complained ..."

About: Queen's Hospital, Burton Upon Trent

(as the patient),

What could be improved

In September, having complained of abdominal pain, I was referred to Queen’s Hospital. In December I underwent a number of investigations of my stomach, duodenum and colon. I had, during this period also become very anaemic. In January I had a consultation with a doctor in which he reviewed the results of the tests I had been given and I was told that the results had been negative and that a further appointment would be made for August and that in the meantime I should ‘see how it goes’. My observation that a diagnosis of the cause of the problem had not been made and that my symptoms had not ‘gone away’ was ‘talked down’. At the time I felt that he was rather ‘showing off’ to the medical students that were observing the interview. I retrospect I feel that I was bullied.

Fortunately, I sought a second opinion from a consultant at a different hospital who diagnosed a tumour in my duodenum in a matter of weeks.

I have just received a letter from Queens hospital delaying my review until December.

Anything else?

Queen’s Hospital failed to diagnose this tumour between my referral in September and the last review at the end of January. It seems to me that the hospital did ‘as little as possible’ as ‘late as possible’. To say the least I feel very disappointed in this failure and, on occasion, a fair amount of anger. I have experienced five uncomfortable, and on occasion painful, months of delay for most of which I have been unable to work. I believe that the hospital’s failure to diagnose the tumour is at best unfortunate and at worst negligent. I believe that you have ‘met targets’ while failing to provide good medical care. I feel that your hospital has betrayed the principal of public service that lies at the core of the National Health Service. I doubt that I will ever be able to forgive the hospital’s failure to make the diagnosis.

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Response from Queen's Hospital, Burton Upon Trent

We are very sorry to hear about this patient's experience with us in 2008 and on this occasion we did not meet their expectations. We are expanding our workforce in the coming weeks as we recognise there are problems with appointments being rescheduled.

We would always ask patients who have concerns with our service to get in touch with our PALs and Complaints service so that their concerns can be properly investigated and lessons learned. This helps us to improve our services in the future.

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