"A briskness in attitude and lack of compassion..."

About: John Radcliffe Hospital

I had a bit of a rocky road on they way to the Gynaecology Ward at the John Radcliffe.

Having presented with certain symptoms I was referred to the Menstrual Clinic where the consultant was not at all interested in my wider symptoms of extreme pain.

The consultant did not want to take a copy of my own notes about my symptoms.

This is relevant because had the consultant shown any interest they would have referred me to the specialist Endometriosis Team.

I would then have had the opportunity to be fully apprised of my options and to ask questions about what I could expect.

In the event I was scheduled for an elective hysterectomy and bi-lateral salpingo oopherectomy by a consultant surgeon who, although doubtless highly skilled, is not listed as one of the Gynaecology Department's endometriosis specialists.

The surgeon was shocked to discover that I had Stage 4 endometriosis, and that it was severe and widespread.

My pelvis was frozen on one side. The surgery was complex, requiring adhesiolysis and very painful. I spent three hours in the recovery room as the team tried to manage my pain. Since my surgery I have informed myself about endometriosis and understand that even after hysterectomy and oopherectomy with adhesiolysis some women so require repeat visits to the operating theatre.

Hence the need for an expert surgeon to remove all the endometriosis.

On the ward I found the staff patchy in their approach.

Some were very pleasant however the night staff nurse was not. I had the temerity to ask the nurse to turn the overhead strip light off as, strangely enough, I was trying to get some sleep (it had been one of those days).

Big mistake! The nurse was just unpleasant in their manner all night (and only to me as I could hear the nurse talking to the other patients quite kindly).

The next day I was informed early on that I would be in for another night.

However, at around 4pm the staff nurse on duty informed me that as I looked much better I could go home, and hastily discharged me. The nurse handed me some codeine tablets and laxatives and told me to get some ibuprofen in....!

They did not, however provide me with any information as to whether my stitches were disolvable or not (they weren't).

I had to call the next day to check.

Considering the nature of my surgery I do feel that someone should have warned me to expect a bit more pain than I should have, had surgery been routine.

As it is, I have felt isolated and have resorted to using a website to try to get questions answered.

That's not necessarily the best way to inform oneself on medical matters.

To cap it all, I am informed that I won't get a follow up in clinic, merely a letter.

Considering the nature of my surgery I think I should be seen by a member of the Endometriosis team.

Why are there so many distant, aloof, haughty and uncompassionate staff in the Gynaecology Team at the John Radcliffe?

Where has compassion gone?

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from John Radcliffe Hospital

Thank you for your comments regarding your recent experience with the Gynaecology Department.

I am very sorry that your care lacked the compassion that we expect all our patients to receive.

Please be assured that your feedback will be passed onto the Service Managers responsible for Gynaecology. We would welcome the opportunity to investigate the issues you have raised and provide you with a response.

If you would like us to do this, please do not hesitate to contact the Complaints Department on 01865 221728 or via email at complaints@ouh.nhs.uk who will be happy to discuss the complaint process with you.

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