"I will never make a patient feel how they made me feel"

About: The Royal Glamorgan Hospital / Rheumatology

(as the patient),

As a student within the NHS I constantly take a patient-centred approach to my care and make sure that not only do I get consent from the patients I care for but that they are a valued member of the team that put forward their plan of care. Therefore knowing the importance of this myself, I was very disappointed with the care I have received from my rheumatology consultant today. I'm not normally someone that would publish a story painting a member of the health team on social media of any kind however I feel so let down that I hope in writing this here someone will read my story. My consultant is based at Royal Glamorgan Hospital. After seeing them for the first time in March this year I was informed that I needed to be seen again within six weeks time as I was diagnosed with hypermobility syndrome and required medication in order to 'get me through the day'. I was adamant at the time (and still am) that if I do have hypermobility syndrome I strongly believe that this is not the cause of my problems however they refused to offer any further investigations explaining that a 19 year old is too young to be suffering with any other medical condition.

So I left with a diagnosis that I feel is not the source of my pain but also with the instructions to return again in six weeks time.

A letter came through the post not long after this appointment but at the same time I had another letter that cancelled this appointment. This went on until a few days ago. Therefore my six week 'important' check up was actually a 9 month check up.

Between these two appointments I had received a referral letter to attend physiotherapy (something which this consultant did for me WITHOUT consent! I was completely unaware! )

I rang physiotherapy to make an appointment only to find that what the consultant had referred me to was actually an intense physiotherapy program which required the commitment of two times a week between 8: 30 and 12: 30. As stated earlier, I am a student. I attend uni all week and during placement time work full time days or night shifts. Therefore I was unable to commit to this and so declined the referral.

Back to the present day - I was ushered into a room 40 minutes after the time my appointment was scheduled for (which happens to all health professionals I know as they can't predict how long a patient will need) and when I entered the room the consultant was sat behind a desk with a nurse chasing around after them (opening and closing the door, reaching for papers, fetching water). They read aloud the problems I had come to see them for 9 months previously (with no apology for the repeated cancellations) and asked me whether I had been to physio.I would have expected to have been asked 'how are you? ' or ' I hope you are feeling better than when I saw you last' but nope they cut straight to the point. When I told the consultant I could not attend the physio appointments they were s not happy. I was made to feel so upset and so belittled. They insisted that I attended and said that I cant expect to just rely on medication to get me through the day. SI was accused of not wanting to get better by not attending physio. They wanted me to skip uni in order to attend physio. I raised the points that

1) the uni would be reluctant to allow it

2) I did not want to miss uni as I would be behind other students

3) Missing uni twice a week would lead to a lack of knowledge therefore this may lead to me being unsafe to practice

4) my NHS bursary would stop as I would be missing too many hours of uni

5) would I complete enough theory hours to qualify?

The consultant's answer to this was 'that they looked after a lot of students in my shoes who manage to take time off from university and they refused any reason I gave to not do physio.

The consultant reduced the dosage of pain relief I am given and have given me three options. I can either see the physio now, use my three weeks summer holiday (which isnt for another 7 months! ) to see the physio or I can be discharged from her care.

To me this is NOT patient centred care! I think as a consultant she should develop a plan of care in AGREEMENT with myself. Something which is practical and achievable.

I left the room feeling belittled, judged and upset. I don't want to be in pain, I don't purposely put myself in pain. All I am doing is building myself a life at uni so that I can have a good career. Therefore, I will not be returning to this consultant. I will be discharging myself from their care and going private. Its a shame that I have to pay to receive the care that I desperately need.

I will never make a patient feel the way that they made me feel

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