"Never been spoken to with such disrespect in my..."

About: Royal Orthopaedic Hospital

I have had a problem with my ankle for several years now, I cannot walk properly and I am in a lot of pain. I was referred to this hospital after having a private consultation and being told I would need corrective surgery on my Achilles tendon. I have been passed around to different hospitals now for over a year and had various scans and physiotherapy, none of which have revealed anything or helped me. I suffer with severe agoraphobia and panic attacks and coming to the hospital causes me serious distress. I was told I needed to go to the QE hospital for nerve studies which I stated clearly that I would not be able to attend.

The last time I visited this hospital I was told (by a doctor that I won't name) I would need to prepare for surgery soon. I had an appointment today (17/08/15) and I really struggled to make it into the hospital for my appointment. I would like to point out that the two nurses that helped me inside were lovely but I was told that the doctor I had an appointment with was busy and not in a good mood.

I was taken into a room to wait for the doctor to see me and when the doctor came in they looked really annoyed. They spent about 5 minutes talking to me, the whole time making me feel like I was stupid and had done something to deliberately annoy them. They told me I was making their job impossible because of my nerves. They told me I should get my anxiety sorted before they could help me (I've had anxiety for many years and I have tried many things which haven't helped to relieve it so I feel this is really none of their business). I told them I couldn't cope with the stress of having to attend all of these appointments and I just wanted to know when I would be operated on as I cannot cope with the situation I am in anymore. They spoke to me like I was inferior to them the whole time and told me that they didn't want to perform surgery on me (even though at my last appointment they said I would need surgery) as there were other options. I'm really not sure what other options there are and they didn't explain this. The doctor acted as though they didn't even believe I have anxiety issues and kept talking about me needing to go to the QE. I said I wouldn't be comfortable with it and would request another hospital. they basically told me I had no rights and had to go where they told me. The fact that I was on the verge of a panic attack meant that I couldn't assert myself and get my point across. I've now once again come away from a very distressing situation feeling worse than before I went. I have to wait for another appointment ( which takes about 2 months). I have no faith that anything will be done at my next appointment either. I am now considering paying for private treatment (which I cannot afford) because of the appalling way I've been treated today and how upset it has made me.

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Response from Sally Xerri-Brooks, Head of Communications, Communications, Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Dear lj,

Thank you for sharing your views. I'm so sorry that you had such a difficult experience with us. We would really like to look into the experience you had. We have a Patient Advice and Liaison Service, who would be very happy to look into what happened. They can be contacted by telephone on (0121) 685 4128 or by email on roh-tr.PALS@nhs.net. They will also be able to ensure this is treated as a formal complaint if you feel this is appropriate.

With best wishes

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