"Gynecology experience"

About: NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow / Women's health Stobhill Hospital / Gynaecology

(as the patient),

I have had an ovarian cyst for c10 years, which has been monitored on and off by gynaecological teams in Glasgow and Edinburgh. A year ago I went to my GP complaining of severe abdominal pain, which was preventing me from sleeping. He referred me for a scan.

The scan took 5 months to arrange, and when I attended Stobhill hospital for the scan, I was anxious (as you would be - it's an unpleasant procedure), and was upset to find that the staff were very brusque. In particular, they were annoyed at me for not having a full bladder (despite me having followed the instructions on my appointment letter very carefully). I asked to wait for ten more minutes in the waiting room, during which time a member of staff said, loud enough for me to hear, suppose if people can't follow the instructions... I guess they will have to go and do some paperwork if I was not ready, which I thought was unnecessarily aggressive.

Post-scan my GP recommended removal of the cyst, and ordered a referral to a gynecological consultant. This took 6 further months. I attended this appointment at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, where I was told that due to the time elapsing between scan and consultation, I now needed another scan before they could discuss removal. My attempts to ask questions were brushed off. I said that in 10 years the cyst had only grown 2 millimeters, so it was unlikely to have changed much in the 6 months since my last scan. I was sent away to await a further appointment. It seems to me that this appointment was a waste of half a day of my time, and of NHS resources.

The QEUH was a nightmare, with staff clearly hassled and rushed off their feet. For a new hospital, the fittings were worn and the place looked grubby. There was black condensation grime all around the window in the consulting room, and the place was freezing and heated by small electrical heaters - it must be an unpleasant place to work.

I hate complaining about the NHS because I am so grateful for it, but this experience has left me really anxious, and I feel at every stage I've not been listened to (except by my GP, who has been fabulous).

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Response from Lorna Gray, Patient Experience, Public Involvement Project Manager, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Dear Esm sandy,

There are a number of issues you have shared here that we need to reflect carefully on. First of all, the time delays in waiting for the scan, and then subsequently the wait for your appointment with the consultant seem very long - this can sometimes be if a patient wants to attend a particular hospital, or see a particular Doctor, however it is important that we note and keep an eye on this.

You have also raised a number of issues around communication which are important - first of all the way you were spoken to, and about, at your scan appointment; and then that you felt brushed off when asking questions at your consultant appointment. At all times patients should feel included and listened to, and ultimately, treated with respect and we need to be aware of this at all times. As you mentioned, most patients coming into hospital for whatever reason tend to be a little anxious or worried, so the way that people speak to them in that situation has a massive impact. Further to this, there is the element of communication between specialties in terms of your subsequent appointment - the fact that nothing could be progressed at that point would be frustrating and could certainly have been organised more efficiently.

Overall, there are a number of areas for us to look at, and I will pass your feedback on to the relevant services to do this. I hope that you have since either progressed with your treatment, or have this planned, but if not, please feel free to get in touch with me directly with some of your personal details and I can have a look into this for you.

Thank you again for getting in touch,

Best Wishes,


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