"Zero standard care"

About: Chelsea & Westminster Hospital / General medicine Royal Free Hospital / Plastic surgery

(as the patient),

In 2012 I was injected with sculptra at the royal free hospital, London. The reason I had sculptra injections was because I had a fat graft to the face for lypodistrophy ( fat loss ) and further fat grafting was stopped and I was referred for sculptra.

The reason I was referred for sculptra was, I believe, due to maladministration. The story is complicated. The person who injected me with sculptra was a traniee registrar plastic surgery. They had very little if any experience with this product which resulted in servere granulomas and nodules - forming immediately, causing me signicant disfigurement and pain, which still hasnt improved in 3 years.

I have received no explanation, no redress or offer to put it right and worse than all that has happened: I have been completely ignored, there was no investigation or action of any kind. I feel this is in contradiction to the nhs constitution - which obviously means nothing and my life has been ruined as a result.

Also, in 3 years, whilst under the care of Chelsea &Westminster hospital, London, I have developed terrible neuralgia inflammation of the cranial arteries, with severe and distressing headaches. I have had 3 tests, in 3 years - zero support for pain; zero diagnosis, despite there being many tests to discover what is causing the inflammation, as well as massive arteritis type veins on my head with terrible tenderness in the right cranial regions; absolutely nothing has been done to help me.

I'm suffering with acute attacks - around 3 a month and I'm left like an animal to suffer. It is easier to delay as much as possible, any tests because of costs, In my case I've been provided with nothing. My life is hell!

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Response from Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

Hi Gene, I'm sorry to hear you're unhappy.

It sounds like there are two issues here. The first one is concerning your care at the Royal Free London in 2012 and we would like to help you with this by looking into what happened. The best way for us to do this is if you could get in touch with our PALS department either by email, letter or phone and let them know all the details so that it can be investigated appropriately. The link below has all the relevant contact details and they will be very happy to help you further: https://www.royalfree.nhs.uk/contact-us/patient-advice-and-liaison-service/

Alternatively you can get in touch via our online form: https://www.royalfree.nhs.uk/contact-us/compliments-and-complaints/feedback-online-form/

Regarding the second issue, from your comments it looks like this relates to care at Chelsea and Westminster. If this is not the case, please do get in touch with our PALS team via the details above, however if it is in fact about Chelsea and Westminster then we would advise you to get in touch with them, as the care provider is best placed to help you and we cannot help with care provided at other trusts. Here is a link to the contact page for their PALS department: http://www.chelwest.nhs.uk/your-visit/patient-advice

I hope this is useful.

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Update posted by Gene (the patient)

Thank you for your response, however, I have made every effort to try and deal with this through your PALS office, of which I have very little success.

All I can say is that as my story explains: I was injured considerably, by someone of whom made no efforts to address this, this coupled with the lack of information regarding what happened and zero explanation, I am still having to deal with the terrible disfigurements this has caused.

I originally was referred to royal free for fat grafting and after having surgery was asked to return after 2 weeks for review, only to be discharged by a doctor who did not seem to know why I was there. This resulted in me being discharged.

I complained and was referred back to the plastics department to see a Dr - whom I did not see, I saw a member of his team who referred me for sculptra. The whole point of the fat graft was because in my case of lipodystrophy, it had advanced to a level where fat grafting was a safer and more long - term solution. Why I was referred back for sculptra is a complete example of maladministration.

To add to this, I attended the sculptra clinic in blind faith. I believe the person who injected me with the sculptra lacked skill and knowledge of this product, leading to appalling consequences, with regard to the disfigurement it caused. I have granulomas in my eye, granulomas on my right cheek; and granulomas in my right face, causing considerable irregularities in my face my left eye is quite contorted and disfigured and has dropped as a result. I believe the product was not mixed properly, was not injected properly and was injected in large amounts - causing immediate long term injury. Worse than all this is that I was told it was not life threatening so they could do nothing to help.

There has been no investigation and redress of any kind. I have been ignored and left to endure, with nothing more than a demonstration of total disregard. The psychological impact alone has caused damage. I am having to fund corrective surgery out my own pocket, something that the Royal Free should compensate me for entirely. It should also be in the public interest to bring the person who caused this to account.

Response from Digital Communications, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

Hi Gene

Thanks for providing further information and I'm sorry to hear that you have had difficulty getting through to our PALS team.

In order for us to be able to deal with your complaint appropriately, we do need you to send this information directly to us at the trust. If you are able to email the details to rf.communications@nhs.net, I will pass it on to the appropriate departments who will then be in touch.

Many thanks and apologies once again that you have been unhappy with your care here.


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Update posted by Gene (the patient)

Dear Rachel, I have tried to navigate my way around the confusing procedures known as the complaints process. At this point, it seems near on impossible to address it and if it cannot be addressed in 3 years; then it is unlikely that it will be addressed at all, at least through your processes - which I feel are quite clearly geared in favour of covering up its mistakes, rather than addressing them.

From what I have experienced so far, so far it feels like there has been deliberate attempts to close ranks on anybody that has a complaint - especially a person that has been significantly injured and disfigured due incompetence and negligence. The person responsible, in the meantime, continues with life with no consequences for their actions, whilst the person who has endured the maladministration, has to suffer the fallout of putting their life back together. The only course of action now is to involve a third party as advocate to help put this ridiculous scenario into perspective and deal it accordingly - going forward.

It is quite reprehensible in how I have been treated. I myself will continue to seek accountability, and I'm confident that gnawing away enough, I will succeed. It is only right that these people are exposed and made accountable.

Response from Digital Communications, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

Hi Gene

I'm sorry that you have been unhappy with your experiences so far. I am a member of the communications team here and I can assure you that if you are able to send me this information directly I will do everything I can to help you.

If you can please email rf.communications@nhs.net with the details, I will speak to our head of PALS and complaints and ensure that a member of his team gets in touch with you to investigate this further.

Many thanks


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Update posted by Gene (the patient)

Dear Rachel,

I appreciate your offer, but unfortunately, the PALS office in which you refer to has not really proved very proactive.

The crux of this scenario is that the doctor/ medical student that performed the procedure did so without informing that they were effectively using me as a guinea pig - since the doctors experience was virtually zero and they weren't supervised and there was a catalogue of failures that led to this: by all the people involved. I would say it is something that would be all to easy to sweep under the carpet because of this. There is one problem with that and that is it is of complete breach of the so called nhs constitution; and I have been left with a disfigured face, which had not been corrected as it should have been. It will not be resolved through pals nor by myself. So I have to navigate my way to the right people able to make the people responsible for this answer for there actions.